FREEDOM AND THE REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA
Life is not a stationery phenomenon, it is dynamic. We as part of life cannot be otherwise, we must constantly review our position in the life we are living. What we had yesterday which we valued so much may no longer be as important in our scale of priorities today. Time has that exclusive pervasive quality to itself that subtly tends to assign to everything in life the value we should attach to them.
Freedom, like life is a continually evolving phenomenon, a process that must be nurtured or else it will fall into a state of disuse and dilapidation just like every other thing in life tends to. Freedom therefore is not a one-time accomplishment. True freedom is not won once but once won it has to be won over and over again. The reason is because there is only a thin line between freedom and bondage. It is easy to win freedom today and quickly revert to the first state of bondage when the winner is reckless or not vigilant enough. Therefore for the less vigilant society it is harder to keep than win freedom. Each subsequent generation must build on and secure the hard won freedom of the preceding generation but most of all they must win their own freedoms.
It is based on this premise that the current generation of Biafrans find themselves in a very urgent and critical situation. It is the responsibility of every living Biafran today to rise up and consolidate on the great and heroic work done by the 1967 to 1970 generation but what is more important than that is that they must do their own work by winning their own freedoms. In the true Igbo-world it is the height of irresponsibility on the part of the living generation to neglect a project or projects initiated by preceding generation. It is not only expected of a current generation to continue with and complete such projects left by the older generation but they must initiate new ones which they must complete or at least start on and left to the coming ones to finish.
It is only in the lower life level of instinctual animal existence is it accepted when the next generation abandon whatever their parents began to do. This can be acceptable because baser animals are not designed to process and preserve information and work with the aid of their past experiences in dealing with new challenges beyond that which had been programmed into them as instincts by Mother Nature. But on the contrary, in the human world, we must continue from where the last people stopped. That is what makes us humans. That is the difference between us and the baser animal world.
The call for every Biafran of today to rise up and fight to regain his or her freedom and that of their Biafra Homeland lost to Nigeria in the January of 1970 goes far beyond a mere call to be free, it is a call to assert their human dignity, to prove to themselves, their children and the rest of the world that they are humans. It does not really matter who you are or who you believe yourself to be but the truth is that if you were a Biafran alive today and you still accept the domination and subjugation and oppression of Nigeria over you and the Biafra Homeland, then you must urgently reassess your claim to humanity. Today’s Biafrans must prove and convince the rest of the world that they are real human beings who are sensitive to their responsibilities. They must complete the freedom project begun by the last generation and of course win their own new freedoms. They cannot shy away from this responsibility if they must continue to lay claim to their humanness.
One important point we want to emphasis here is that the rightness or justness of one’s cause does not automatically guarantee its success hence the appropriateness of the word “fight” in this text, no matter how you may believe. It is not a given that just because you have a just cause then victory is assured or you will have it by mere wishing for or even by a non-committal and self-sacrificial demand to take possession. In real life situations you must fight to convince both skeptics and believers on why you must have that which rightly belongs to you. This by extension informs the reason why it is said that “power is never given but taken”.
What we are saying here is that it is not enough to have laws and rules spelling out one’s or a people’s fundamental human rights and privileges such as you have them enshrined in the various international and national articles and conventions. What matters is that the person or people must formally earn those rights by fighting to appropriate them in actual fact. That is what Voltaire meant when he said that tyrants or oppressors (the Nigerian state in this case in point) are devoted in the act of tyranny and always active and ardent when they can find sleeping men who will not actively take any risks to exercise their freedom. The tyrants will always find some plausible euphemisms such as “unity in diversity”, “most populous black nation”, and all such rubbish to befuddle the fickle-minded ones.
For the past four decades Biafran men and women have been sleeping and these bestial tyrants have had a field day and made a ridicule of Biafrans’ human dignity and raped to death their Homeland, the heritage of their fathers. In return these tyrants feed them with the most obnoxious tranquilizers on why they must remain submissive so that they will be known and called giants in the land of Lilliputians and one-nigerianists and maintain a false sense of belonging. They lull them to sleep by telling them to remain united in a union that completely retards them, stifle their growth and is incapable of guaranteeing their safety, that of their properties or their humanity. Unfortunately though, as stupid and ridiculous as this nonsense and disgusting lullaby might sound, it is most amazing that the current generation of Biafrans have continued to be lulled to deeper and deeper sleep with this toxicity.
Perhaps, for the benefit of those who are still finding it hard to understand the simplicity of this logic we may have to put it in a plainer language by saying that all Biafrans everywhere today must rise up now from their unjustified and irresponsible slumber of forty years and fight against Nigeria by every means available to each individual or group wherever they find themselves. The time is long overdue when Biafra must be liberated from the shackles of bondage, suppression, subjugation, exploitation and ineptitude of Nigeria. When it comes to freedom and human dignity, you are never limited by any means you deem necessary to regain your freedom and respect as humans. Every means is always justified at the end of everything because you are fighting a most vicious monster that must be defeated. And just for the benefit of those who may want to make an argument out of this foregoing statement, let us refer them to a well known line from the classics. That is what Machiavelli was saying when he advised the Prince in his little book by the same title that he should go all out when making decisions in the interest of the state, because the end will always justify the means when decisions are based on the greater good for the greater number and for their future and enduring benefit.
The reason why this fight must be waged and won now is because Biafrans of today and coming generations must have an enabling environment where they can express themselves and their unique identity. More than any other time in history Biafrans must fight for their survival as a people and the preservation of who they are. Nobody should be ashamed to be identified with this most noble aspiration of preserving their identity and regaining their human pride and dignity because that is all they have got as human beings, their true and real possessions in this world. By whatever standard, nothing in life has a higher value to it than that.
When one looks at the actions and utterances of some Biafrans of today, it looks like some of them have continued to miss the point. Perhaps it is out of a deliberate attempt at self-delusion, wanting to appear “civil” and pretending to be magnanimous and accommodating. This can be quite pathetic because in the overall such actions do not amount to anything more than the childish desire to “belong” to a peer group. In this case, a peer group of a people and country who do not even care about you or have any respect for you because of their inordinate jealousy and hatred for who you are. But the real truth is that wanting to maintain one’s unique identity does not make such a person inferior to anyone else nor does it make him a social misfit. Rather he or she is helping to enrich humanity and to reinforce its diversity and beauty.
In the end, the totality of what we are saying in this discussion is that Biafra as a matter of urgency must declare a unilateral independence now, from the Nigerian state. Biafra and her population is being subjugated and exploited by aliens (in contrary to the various provisions in the many international laws and bills of rights) and must unilaterally declare their independence in order to maintain their human dignity, their fundamental human rights. There are various international laws that have provided for this action by any group who feel so persuaded by circumstances and necessities such as are prevailing in the Biafran Territory today. (Please refer to Article 11 of 1948 of the United Nations provisions on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which was adopted in June 27, 1981 in Banjul).
Various sections of these laws that are binding on all world communities which are parties to them (Nigeria happens to be party to all the conventions) cover such people from any persecution resulting from such unilateral actions. (The recent Kosovo Precedent is also a good example to refer to). Natural and peoples’ rights provide ground for self-determination for any people who are subjugated and exploited by aliens on their own land. Clearly, Natural and peoples’ rights guarantee a people’s right to be free and in the case of Biafra, no matter how anyone may want to look at it as everything stands now, it is still entirely the people’s choice to either remain in such a humiliating bondage and subjugation and to be continually grossly and wantonly exploited or rather be free. The only wedge today standing between Biafra and Biafrans and their well-deserved freedom and liberation is fear and their willingness to continue in such debasing conditions. And as a people, Biafrans can choose to rise above this debilitating shackle of fear because fear dehumanizes a person or a people while boldness restores the human dignity. Any life, especially that of a Biafran that is lived in subjugation or any form of oppression and illegal restrictions is worth less than nothing and is not worth living. The reason for this conclusion is simple; life as a creative force can only do well in an environment that is secure and void of any illegal restrictions.