The thematic focus of my post is to highlight how the IPOB can secure independence as a sovereign entity or equitable restructuring of Nigeria in such a way that ensures, resource control, equity, justice, regional autonomy, fairness and peaceful co-existence of all stakeholders, without loss of lives in the hands of people, who are ever ready and seek for opportunities to waste Igbo lives gleefully. I have done some little research on how this can be accomplished, modifying the SNP model to suit our own sociopolitical clime.
NOW THE QUESTION ON EVERYONE'S LIPS.
The key question agitating the minds of people/every Nigerian/the world, and which has attracted diverse interpretations and misinterpretations is what does IPOB really want and what is the reason or motivation behind their agitation which is over 5 years old? (Please do not lend much credence/credibility to the narration of some partisan herds, who attribute the IPOB agitation solely to GEJ defeat at the last Presidential election).
Theirs are the jaundiced narratives of folks that want to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. IPOB has been in existence long before the last Presidential election in March 28, 2015. In fact they have always referred to Nigeria as a Zoo (a cruder form of the animal farm). Perhaps, their agitation was taken a notch higher in decibel because of the unguarded or UN-statesmanlike pronouncements of the powers that be, eg. the 97:5 equation gaffe. However, that does not in anyway negate the reality and fact on the ground that there are germain kernels to their agitations.
Mr President once asked, what does the IGBOs want? a rhetoric question that even the IPOB leadership or the weak Ohaneze Leadership have not been able to provide answers or effective responses to.
Before I proceed further, I crave our indulgence to provide some brief response to that unanswered question.
1. The Igbos and to a large extent the people of the Niger Delta desire the opportunity to own their resources, control and manage such resources and grow competitively within Nigeria, without being dragged /held back by reactionary forces from other climes or their efulefu agents planted in our state houses (eg. Obasanjo used his own efulefus/agents to destabilize Anambra State for so long a period before God used Peter Obi to reset Anambra on the progressive path today under APGA. The Igbos desire for Nigeria to go back to the Pre- 1966 Regional autonomous structure of the constituents units in Nigeria to enabled them develop at their own pace without being clogged down by those that want to stay behind because of their cultural and religious idiosyncrasies .
2. Following from the above,, the Igbos want the elimination of the obnoxious and retrogressive policies and programmes like Quota system and Federal Character Commission that elevates mediocrity over merit. Policies that have deprived them some of the benefits of their hard-work. Policies that were designed to stifle their culture of enterprise. Policies that slowed their progressive march in Nigeria after the destruction of the progressive foundations upon which Nigeria was laid in 1960.
3. The Igbos do not want their own kits/kins regularly being beheaded/massacred in other parts of Nigeria in the name of religious fanaticism by crude Jihadists under whatever pretenses, when we claim to be running a secular constitution. The Igbos don't want their markets being burnt at random in order to wickedly decimate them or stall their industry.
4. If the rest of Nigeria do not want the Igbos to have the above, they should at-least allow them to have their independence , partnering with which ever ethnic nationalities that want to join them to form their own nation. The average Igbo man desire to have his independence. Like the Jews, they are very itinerant and will prefer to have/control their own home nation and access visa to live in other parts of Nigeria rather than being treated as second class citizens in Today's Nigeria.
The undeniable and established facts remain that:
1. The IGBOS by their nature/enterprising spirit are much better off in a United Nigeria that is equitably structured to reflect and accommodate the uniqueness and diversity of the diverse nations in Nigeria (more than 250) as we had it Pre-1966 before the Unitarians and military junta scuppered it.
2. The Igbos are the leading Pan Nigerian Ethnic Nation in Nigeria (that demonstrate their believe in one Nigeria in practical terms -they live and make their homes anywhere they find themselves).
3. However, the Igbos would prefer to have their own independent country where the desire/objective/fact 1 and 2 above becomes impossible. It was because of their quest to have desires/objective 1 &2 above that over 2million of their kinds were murdered by Nigeria in an unprecedented genocide second only to the Nazi Holocaust .
WHAT THE IPOB LEADERSHIP/MEMBERS SHOULD DO BY MODIFYING THE SNP MODEL.
1. The sentiment and support for the IPOB agitation is so rife amongst the members of the IGBO nation. Over 80% of the Igbo nation both at home and in diaspora strongly believe that Nigeria as presently structured/contracted has not been fair to the Igbo man.
2. Overwhelming majority of Ndi Igbo, which include Professionals, Traders, Captains of Industries, Artisans, Diaspora Igbos, Students and even Area boys strongly identify /support the reasons behind the IPOB agitations. However, it is the approach of the leadership of IPOB that puts them off.
3. Spontaneous but poorly articulated/coordinated demonstrations at bridge heads/disruption of the economic activities of your own people, which can easily be hijacked by miscreants are not just the potent/ viable ways to go in actualizing the agitation. We play into the hands of Igbo haters in Nigeria who will not waste time to waste innocent umu Igbo as they have shown overtime. Unfortunately, a majority of those efulefus, who were rigged into political offices in Igbo land are cowards after their own pocket and belly and have no love for Ndi Igbo. Hence, will never speak out in defense of our people or speak out against the injustice being meted out to Ndi across the nation.
4.Well meaning Ndi Igbo are willing and ready to support and finance a properly articulated IPOB struggles. Once it is established that the IPOB leadership is selfless, altruistic, honest and display rare integrity.
5. The IPOB leadership cells in villages, the hinterland, markets, artisan, communities, LGAs, State levels, National, and Diaspora levels can be strengthened for efficiency and mobilization.
6. The IPOB leadership should develop a comprehensive charter of equity that draws heavily from the Aburi accord and addresses/provides see through solutions to every of the ills, injustices and inequities currently at play in today's Nigeria. A working document that gives comfort to every of the other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria that share in their sentiment -I bet you they are in majority. You do not start an enterprise without an implementable, feasible and more viable BUSINESS PLAN, which provides better alternative to what is already in existence.(of-course with a see through implementation time table). Where is the Strategic Working Document/Draft Constitution of the proposed Independent Republic of Eastern Nigeria aka. IPOB.
Where are the other policy documents -Legislative and Policy documents/instruments that will provide the architecture for the establishment of the various institutions/development frameworks upon which the new nation can stand? What the Leadership of IPOB needs more urgently now is an INTELLECTUAL WING that can help them put together these documentations and structure. Provide Shadow Governments in the hinterland that points the way forward for the people and which will also serve to expose the fraud, incompetences, in-capacities and perversion of a majority of our people, who currently occupy political offices but collaborate with outsiders to rape Ala Igbo.
7. They can also adopt another name for the agitation, such as the INDEPENDENT NATION OF IGBOS OR INDEPENDENT PEOPLE OF THE SOUTH EAST. OR SOUTH ATLANTIC TREATY OR IGBO REPUBLIC or INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF EASTERN NIGERIA. They should use their radio station to always sensitize the people and shape public opinion. They can also set up TV stations and strengthen their online and social media presence creatively. Use of abusive, uncouth and inflammatory words that only appeal to the mob or those with herd mentality alone is not enough. The message should be mixed and varied and the approach comprehensive enough to provide accommodation to people of varied thoughts but common goal of championing the progress of the Igbo nation.
8. Finally, a majority of the masses and the IPOB youths that are angry about the injustice being meted to Ndi Igbo in today's Nigeria, were also the same set of people that helped some of the selfish efulefus in political leadership to rig themselves to power. The same political leaders of the Igbo extraction, who have chosen to play the deaf and mute game in the cold blooded murder of Ndi Igbo youths (both in APC and PDP) was rigged into offices by Igbo youths and Igbo Professional INEC adhoc staff.
So, the first step in reclaiming our homeland and re-positioning the struggle is for the IPOB leadership/membership to encourage its members to take over one of the fringe political parties or even APGA and elect those that will champion their causes in the state capitals, NASS and Abuja. Why is this necessary?
We are in a constitutional democracy. The only people that can push for the cause of IPOB or the Niger Delta people, outside an Orange spring like revolution are those in the state houses (governors/assembly members) or NASS to enable it get urgent constitutional traction. However, from the realities on ground, both the Presidency and those that purport to represent Ndi Igbo/the People of the Niger Delta as political office holders are too selfish and self occupied to even spare a condemnation of murder of hundreds of innocent umu Igbo. A majority of them are too corrupt and compromised to draw the wrath of the CZAR by raising their voices. Thus, an independent and sovereign Igbo Nation without first of all doing a thorough in-house cleaning of the weeds and rodents in our rooms, will suffer worse fate than Southern Sudan. It will make the current experience of Southern Sudan a child's play. The IPOB leadership/membership should first of all make a long list of selfless Igbo professionals. Very knowledgeable, altruistic , selfless, patriotic and compassionate Umu Igbo to support and finance to represent them in 2019 at all political levels. There are many of these kinds of Ndi Igbo. They exist both here at home and in diaspora. We know them. We live and interact with them everyday. These are Umu Igbo, who we can all vouch for based on their antecedents/track records (Kindly remember that they are not saints though. there is none anyway. But they are selfless and love Ndi Igbo).
But the quest for stomach infrastructure have always overshadowed the brains and minds of a majority of us at election seasons, hence, we always end up rigging in selfish and incompetent efulefus. The IPOB Leadership should also reach out to our neigbours in the South South , SW and NC.
This IPOB struggle is not a dash . It is a marathon that requires, grit, patience, tact, intelligence, stamina, consolidated energy, great resources, excellent/selfless coordination and total sacrifices. The approach and implementation must be scientific and must be vigorously pursued. It can start gaining constitutional traction from 2019 if the leadership is selfless and serious. Not withstanding what anyone might feel or perceive, just like David asked his brothers, when they tried to mock him for daring to ask what shall be the reward for the man that takes down Goliath-Are there no cause? Of-course there are genuine causes for the struggle. A majority of Nnamdi Kanu's rhetoric are currently unraveling before our very faces. This ANIMAL FARM MUST BE RESTRUCTURED TO PROVIDE EQUITY, JUSTICE, EQUALITY , FAIRNESS AND LEVEL PLAYING GROUND FOR ALL THE INHABITANTS OR ALLOW THE LIONS TO NAVIGATE THEIR OWN PRIDE.
This is my honest and candid submission
Let me have your feedback on firstname.lastname@example.org or 09090900989
CREDIT: Dr Nnaemeka Obiaraeri