This is the News Analysis Segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcasts.
For November 9th 2002
You have heard the news, now, the analysis…
Several times in our broadcasts, Voice of Biafra International (VOBI) has pointed out that the one peaceful way for the problem that is Nigeria to be solved is the Sovereign National Conference (SNC). Short of that, Nigeria will end up with an implosion as its last dying act. Nigeria is dying alright. As such, Nigeria shall eventually take its last breath. What we are saying is that that last breath can be a final sigh—a relatively peaceful event, if SNC is undertaken at this stage. We are saying that this last sigh can be done right now, before the rotting flesh of the soon-to-die— Nigeria —fouls the air so terribly. The alternative to SNC is a bloody mechanism: this dying Nigeria would then consume many of us in its last throes, on its way to burning hell. In the end, the fate of Nigeria is not changed; only the casualty count is affected.
At this phase in the dysfunctional state known as [one] Nigeria , we need to do the sensible thing. We need to arrange for a Sovereign National Conference. SNC is a platform where the Nations that live in Nigeria shall get together, as individual nations, on equal footing, to formalize the dissolution of Nigeria ; to accord diplomatic recognition to one another as sovereign independent nations, and to divide up the outstanding financial obligations of erstwhile Nigeria . At the end of this conference, each nation shall go her own separate way and chart her own nation’s course as best fits that particular nation, and shall determine what diplomatic ties she can form mutually with the other nations.
Why is it crucial to bring this up again? First, because Nigeria is running out of time. Some may say, “…Well, Nigeria has been here before, but has managed to pull through…” We shall correct this attitude: Nigeria has not “pulled through” anything. If you doubt this, you need to understand that Nigeria is one of the few, if not only country that has actually regressed instead of progress, or at worst, stagnate with time, in the entire world.
Why bring up the Sovereign National Conference again at this time? We gave you the first reason above. The second reason: timing. The political situation in Nigeria is the worst it has ever been, never mind the persons going around mouthing the word, “democracy,” much as a parrot would. The impeachment debacle may be winding down without anybody learning any lessons. The President still acts like the General that he is, and he rules Nigeria like he is running a military government, with a tin ear; according to his whims, and with little knowledge of the stipulations of the [flawed but still accepted] Nigerian Constitution. Worst of all, General Obasanjo can now get away with it all, without any serious challenge. The National Assembly still acts immature; this is a den of people who can be bought with money, who are after money for their own pockets, and who shall be destroyed with money—or lack thereof. Both the General and the members of the National Assembly deserve each other and share the same traits: they have been totally ineffective—actually, they have been bad for Nigeria ; they are after money and power; and now, they are plotting and scheming for self-succession.
The political situation is a mess now. An election is around the corner. The voter registration exercise was roundly rigged. The stakes are high: self-succession instinct and plot is so strong that political killings have already been going on. The average Nigerian voter can be bought really cheap. Add to that a President that insists on being re-elected even though everybody knows that he has not performed up to par; even though he should not even be contesting based on an understood rotational scheme. Add to that the fact that there are no other credible candidates for that post except for the old Generals and ex-coupists who misruled Nigeria , and who are now going to use the wealth they stole from Nigeria by virtue of their positions then, to buy votes and buy the Presidency of Nigeria. Now, do you see the danger?
All the above notwithstanding, the most important reason to refresh your mind about SNC, and to insist on it, is the fact that more Nigerians representing recalcitrant regions are now expressing strong interest in a National Conference. It was the North that did not want anything to do with it. But, that, too, to an extent is past tense. Yakubu Gowon, whose only credible and educated statement was made after he took over the Nigerian government following a bloody coup in 1966 and we quote:
“The basis for unity [of Nigeria is] not there…”
but like the nincompoop that he is, Gowon went ahead anyway and unleashed the Biafra-Nigeria war on us to “keep Nigeria one.”
The same General Gowon today represents the Arewa Consultative Forum, the de facto voice of Northern Nigeria who taught Hausa-Fulani boys that they were “born to rule Nigeria” (never mind lack of redeeming qualities or qualifications other than that they are pure-blooded Hausa-Fulani; and never mind the fact that these so-called Hausa-Fulani rulers of Nigeria have only succeeded in recording the worst cases of misrule that history could find in the entire world in modern times). The same General Gowon recently articulated the concept of a National Conference as being essential, a signal that even the North has now also admitted the handwriting on the wall for Nigeria : Nigeria is really sick! We cite this reference not because of its earthshaking effect (because we, Biafrans as Biafra , are leaving Nigeria anyway, whether or not the North wants or likes that). We quote Gowon again in this National Conference “thing” just to make sure that everybody knows what we are talking about.
Remember Aburi? There, Ojukwu proposed and all seemed to accept and agree on the concept of a loose, regionally based confederation for Nigeria . But later, Gowon reneged on the deal, arguing that he hadn’t agreed on this at all, or did not understand that that was the intent of the agreement. Recall that it was this singular behavior of Gowon that was to lead to the Biafra-Nigeria war. Today, too, in a tangentially related matter—the case of the Bakassi people and their land—we find Gowon again denying that he ever agreed to, or signed any documents giving away the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon. There we go again…! But, we recognize the pattern again!
So, when Gowon, representing Northern Nigeria today, says: “National Conference,” we want to make sure that everybody, including Gowon and his constituency, understand what WE have been talking about: SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE.
SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE is not a conference to make Nigeria better so that the Northerners can continue their “born-to-rule” agenda in Nigeria .
SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE is not a conference to preserve the structure of Nigeria so that the Northerners can enrich themselves and their region off the oil wealth and human resources of the South, most notably, Biafra .
SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE is not a conference to protect the integrity of Nigeria so that Nigeria can continue to be known as an Islamic country, a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference.
SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE is not a conference to formalize arrangements whereby the North could have their Sharia, and then impose Sharia over the rest of the country at will, and over the Federal Nigerian laws, under the umbrella of one Nigeria .
SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE is not a conference that, by keeping Nigeria intact, will play an enabling role for the Northern well-formulated and well-funded plans to forcibly Islamize the rest of Nigeria .
SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE is not a conference to maintain and sustain a country called Nigeria where, by official policy and by deed and fiat, Biafrans are selectively cheated, ignored, sidelined, dispossessed, murdered, and made to feel like dirt, in a country which Biafrans themselves built up and sustained with Biafran wealth and Biafran know-how, Biafran work and Biafran intellect.
Gowon, do you hear this? The North, are you clear on the above?
It is a Sovereign National Conference that we have recommended, and that’s the only type of conference that we shall attend. The word, “National” in Sovereign National Conference stands for the Nations that thus far have been forced to live in Nigeria as one country; it does not refer to [the preservation of a Nation called] Nigeria.
Most important is the word, “Sovereign” in Sovereign National Conference. It connotes the fact that there are nations living in Nigeria , and that these Nations are Sovereign—independent sociopolitical entities, independent of Nigeria . It has nothing to do with the Sovereignty of Nigeria.
The Sovereign National Conference is based on the recognition of these nations as such; the participation of these nations as such; and the functioning of these nations, for all intents and purposes, for the present and in future, as sovereign independent nations, completely free to pursue each its own national imperatives within the purview of International laws, International rules and International protocol.
We want to remind Gowon and the North that 35 years ago, Gowon echoed their true sentiment, which was quite as accurate as it is prophetic:
“The basis for unity [of Nigeria is] not there…”
The war that started in Nigeria because Gowon and the North fought against this wisdom—that war—has not ended yet, but continues to rage; that war has consumed Nigeria to the point of imminent death. That was, is, the Biafra-Nigeria War. Will Gowon and the North continue to wage this already lost war whose only effect now is the mauling of the nations living in Nigeria ? Or will they abide by the truest statement that they uttered 35 years ago? A truly Sovereign National Conference is the mechanism to end that war now and end it for good.
Biafra actualization is based on National Independence and Sovereignty for Biafra . We hope and trust that other Nations living in former Nigeria can also proclaim and live their own sovereignty and independence, and that there will be no reason or cause for any more battles. A Sovereign National Conference will formalize all this.
Biafra shall be; Biafra is!
That’s the news analysis for the week. Thank you.
God bless and keep Biafra and you, until next week. VOBI broadcast continues. (Audio version part of weekly VOBI broadcast posted on Biafraland website, http://www.biafraland.com : follow Voice of Biafra link.)