By Xylem Chukwubatista
For Biafra Choice Writers
Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said recently that those clamouring for a free and independent Biafran state did not have the mandate of the people to do so. In fact, he said Indigenous People of Biafra (under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu), which confronted him in Vienna, Austria, did not have a mandate; even to speak for the Igbo.
He made the claim in a recent interview he granted to Vanguard Newspapers. The minister, who I consider an “efulefu”, criticized IPOB for campaigning for Biafra. in doing this, he came up with those long worn-out arguments often put up by dubious Nigerian elites whose only preoccupation had been to steal the country dry. He therefore said that those campaigning for Biafra should not have done so because they were not born during the war.
Part of his statement had read: “I was in Austria and was addressing Nigerians in Vienna and some young Igbo boys came and disrupted the meeting and even broke some windows at the Embassy.” He tried to explain that the incident took place while he was speaking on Ahiara Declaration, which he said gave Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu the mandate to declare Biafra.
He continued: “consequent on certain events that had happened’ he continued ‘including the Aburi Agreement and they believe it was not compliable. Okpara was there and Ojukwu was the military head of state at that time, so there was legitimacy. But now, they are saying we should create Biafra and there is a grievance that some people have been detained.
“The question that is being asked by Igbo leaders in Nigeria is where did the mandate for today’s calls for the declaration of Biafra come from? When you make a demand, it has to be based on some mandate because we are operating a democracy. You saw in the United Kingdom, the Scottish people said they wanted an independent state. There was a mandate because the people had given the Scottish Party the mandate to demand independence.
“They had a referendum and the people voted on the matter. So the referendum took place because the elected government under David Cameron agreed to that referendum. So what we are saying, and what Mr. President said in the case of Biafra is look, that’s okay, the government can decide to hold a referendum and let it be decided democratically. A lot of the present agitators were not born between 1967 and 1970.
“War is the worst thing you can ever have. A war was fought here and it was something we never want to see again. Let us follow a constitutional mechanism, if that is what the people want, let them give a mandate through a democratic process.
“It doesn’t serve any purpose to result in militancy. The President is not saying he is against it ab initio. When there were three regions, the Eastern, Western and Northern regions and there was a push for the creation of the Mid-Western region. It was under Action Group at that time, it was done democratically and constitutionally in the parliament and the Mid-Western region was created. So everybody should calm down and just follow constitutional procedure.
“The so-called leaders, I don’t know who gave them the mandate to speak for the Igbo. I have spoken to a number of Igbo leaders and they said they even want to come out to make statements on the people agitating for Biafra. People can agitate for what they want but they cannot claim to speak for the Igbo. Who gave them the mandate? In what capacity are they speaking? Look at the Scottish people, they are saying that the UK has withdrawn from the European Union but they would stay in the European Union.” he concluded.
If this writer is to respond to any of these infantile statements made by this “efulefu” of a minister, it would be to ask him who the leaders of Ndigbo (that he recognizes) were and where they derive their own mandates from. We would want to ask this Onyeama to tell us when Ndigbo went to elect their leaders and when they sat to decide on Biafra. When Ohanaeze Ndigbo comes out to speak for their pockets, claiming to be speaking for Ndigbo, who gave them the mandate?
Talking about militancy how does the demand for Biafra restoration amount to militancy and violence? How does a legitimate aspiration of a people done in the most peaceful way amount to militancy. With all the educational achievement, which Onyeama claimed he had made, it is a pity this is all he could muster. It is good we bring it to his knowledge that Biafra is older than Nigeria, and that Nigeria did not follow any democratic process to make it part of Nigeria. It also important to let him know that you don’t create countries, we are not creating Biafra; we are restoring Biafra.
When he chose to talk about Constitution, one finds it difficult to understand the sense he was trying to make. Is he not aware that Nigeria does not have a Constitution or follow rule of law? How many times has Buhari disobeyed the so-called Nigerian Constitution, and this man is still not ashamed to talk about Constitution. Was he talking about the Constitution Buhari ignored when the courts ordered him more than twice to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and he refused?
With due respect, Mr. Geoffrey should shut up because he is sounding as imbecilic as his master, Buhari. He is a disgrace to Igbo and disappointment to Biafra. He should face his slave work as Buhari and leave Biafra alone – he is ill-prepared and not qualified to do so.