This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcasts.
for July 20, 2002
You have heard the news; now, the analysis…
We go straightway today to the situation in Anambra State as reported by the local news medium. We will once again use this news to point out to you what is going on—what is wrong, with Nigeria. Let us summarize the situation as reported:
A citizen of Anambra State is apparently calling on General Obasanjo to: “declare a state of emergency in Anambra State to forestall a total collapse of governance, law and order…,” and “…to reverse the gradual drifting situation of Anambra State into a state of anarchy and total absence of government functionaries,…” as such, “…To enable the Federal Government of Nigeria come to the rescue of the civil servants, teachers, pensioners, judges, magistrates and other persons in Anambra State, including the school children…” because the “…state government cannot raise enough fund to meet her indebtedness to the state civil servants, teachers, pensioners, pararastals and other financial commitment during its present tenure…”
The primary problem, then, is that the Anambra State has run out of money. Do you know how many other States in Nigeria have run out of money? We should really be asking: how many States have enough money to pay its workers? We know that at least 34 States also owe Foreign debt, which the Federal government recoups monthly from the State’s allocation of funds.
Anambra represents a typical Eastern Nigerian State in today’s Nigeria. It has great resources:
1) Great Human potential. This is the region that demonstrated the can-do of Biafrans, an extension of unrequited but envied prowess and industry of Igbos and other Biafrans which contributed to the emancipation of the peoples from the clutches of colonial Britain and to the earlier greatness of Nigeria.
2) Natural Resources: Oil, sweet crude oil, the grade most sought-after by an insatiable consumership.
What happened to these resources?
Let’s start with the human potential. Well, the Federal Government of Nigeria, along with the rest of the people of Nigeria, has systematically forcibly herded away the Easterners—Biafrans—from any meaningful or important position or post in Nigeria, although they (Biafrans) are usually the most qualified. There is no Easterner/Biafran in the powerful branches of government today, not in the executive nor in the congress. (Oh, the Speakers of the Senate are Igbo who got in because General Obasanjo needed Igbo stooges; whenever they tried to act independent of the General, they are immediately replaced.) The most vivid example of this occurred just last week, and involved the General himself who insisted on appointing another Yoruba to the post of Auditor General of Nigeria, despite the fact that there was an overall better qualified Igbo, against the objection of even the Senate who had rejected the Yoruba man’s appointment because of lack of ethnic diversity in the Financial arm of the government, in the face of well-qualified persons of other than Yoruba ethnicity.
The Nigerian government makes laws that systematically disenfranchise Igbo-Biafran business men and women, and traders, laws that close the opportunities and avenues of legitimate trade and business in which Igbo-Biafrans are engaged. Not only that, the government maliciously makes it possible for Igbo-Biafrans to be dispossessed of their property and merchandise, and then allows other non-Biafrans to steal such property within ridiculous laws.
The Nigerian government singles out the Igbo/Biafran region and refuses to maintain the infrastructure necessary to carry on trade and business—infrastructure like roads, steady power supply, and potable water—in that area. This government refused to do its part to convert Enugu airport to an International airport, although Igbo/Biafrans were going to finance the entire project, the Federal government citing the flimsy reason of “demand,” while conveniently forgetting that the most business-traveled peoples in Nigeria are the Igbo/Biafrans.
Although naturally gifted and bright, Igbo/Biafrans are denied decent basic education, then job opportunities, by government laws expressly designed to give educational advantage and job opportunities to Northerners and Westerners.
Not only is all this going on, but the government of Nigeria, and her officials, starting with General Obasanjo, and the rest of the peoples of Nigeria, rub it in by gloating and bragging openly about it. Groveling, sycophant Igbos complete the humiliation and insult rendered to the entire Nations of Biafra, especially the Igbo.
What happens to the Oil resources is no secret. 70% or so of the crude oil is piped to Northern Nigeria for refining, a stupid process in the context of business sense, but really a brazen show of who has power and who really runs Nigeria. The lion-share of the revenue is taken over by the Federal government, and only a paltry portion is handed back to the States, which then have to turn around and re-pay the Federal Government out of this little allocation. The money so stolen by the Federal Government finds its way into the hands of corrupt leaders of Nigeria, both civilian and military, almost all of whom come from the North, and Western Nigeria. Comparatively little goes back to help run the government.
What is the result?
1) In spite of the money stolen by the Federal government every year in the form of Oil Revenues, which usually amounts to several hundred billion dollars, General Obasanjo runs around the whole world trying to convince them that Nigeria cannot afford to pay its foreign debt because she is a poor African country. He is right in one way: Nigeria is impoverished.
2) The government of Nigeria cannot pay its own workers either, which in fact finally resulted in the Police going on strike over unpaid arrears in wages, and the low ranking and non-ranking military threatening to go on strike because of unpaid wages and pension.
3) The States in Nigeria, which rely on the paltry Federal allocation from oil revenues, never have enough money to operate; hence, they too have unpaid workers who keep going to work, anyway because, what else is there to do? Now, they know to stay home. Anambra unpaid workers finally stayed home.
The most cynical and immoral act of the government of Nigeria and her agents and agencies, including General Obasanjo, is the use of such stolen funds as leverage, for selfish and political purposes. By withholding the little money that is due a State, General Obasanjo can bring any State’s political leaders to their knees and therefore blackmail them into doing his bidding, including voting for him and his policies which have proven a disaster for Nigeria. By allowing the ruling party, PDP—his party—preferential and inscrutable access to the money that the Federal Government has stolen from the Eastern Nations, General Obasanjo and the PDP can buy and blackmail their way into personal and partisan self-succession and self-perpetuation: which is most annoying, considering that PDP has brought nothing but misery and the shame of malfeasance and nonfeasance to the Nations living in Nigeria.
And, there is a criminal aspect of this entire scenario: funds (and we mean, very large funds) are constantly being pilfered by highly placed persons in other parts of Nigeria, and by institutions in Nigeria, even as we speak. Many such persons are still drawing unimaginable entitlements from these funds, and General Obasanjo is well aware of this; he and his government are doing nothing about it, and doing nothing to stop it.
The sorriest aspect of all this, is that the States from whose backyard the Oil is pumped are left destitute, desolate and bereft, their only recourse being to go groveling at the feet of General Obasanjo, who savors the sight and the situation.
So, we ask, Is it this government that is being indulged to take over and save the citizens of Anambra State? The problem with this solution is the ignorance (feigned?) of the root cause of the problem. This is a government that has made a career of being the main problem, causing the main and perhaps, only problem, and a made a career of not even saving itself.
We refer you to the beginnings of a constructive and effective solution. Some very brave and dignified women from Delta State did what their husbands, brothers, and sons—the men (except for a comparative handful)—could not do. They risked everything—including their human decency, which is even more important to them than their own lives—to oppose and confront this evil called the Nigerian Federal government, by peacefully and orderly taking over and compelling the shutting down of an Oil terminal, to make their case, only selflessly asking for fairness and what is due their sons, and husbands. Since 1929 when the ABA women successfully revolted against the colonial British government, there has never been a braver collective act by our women—our mothers, our sisters, our wives, our grandmas and mothers-in-law. Bravo to you the most courageous, the bravest of all women of our time! Your act has been witnessed by the Angels; your names are carved in gilded stone. You are the sweetest of mothers yet!
But, Woe unto you, Nigeria! Now that the women are doing the men’s work—and are showing us the way—to liberation, you, Nigeria, are truly, finally finished.
And, Biafra actualization, made necessary by Nigeria’s unbridled and evident evil, is leading the way to a new dispensation wherein Nations in Nigeria will claim and enjoy their natural independence and sovereignty, to be forever protected from this unspeakable and unimaginable abomination and hideous nightmare known as Nigeria or one Nigeria. Biafra is the complete answer; our women will never again have cause to bare their psyche in order to challenge an evil regime and an evil structure.
That’s our news analysis for the week.
May God bless and keep Biafra, and you, until our next broadcast. Voice of Biafra International Broadcast continues. (http://www.biafraland.com; follow Voice of Biafra link)