“There is a limit to what a single person can do, no matter the person’s level of knowledge, education, exposure and citizenships” – @ezebunaf4
Dear Nnamdi Kanu,
I write you from the comforts of my office located in the country of the man who composed the Biafran anthem, a distant land from Nigeria but demographically shares a continent with your British home.
I pen this letter because of the concerns I harbour about you, your quest and your style of leadership towards the actualisation of the Republic of Biafra.
Nnamdi Kanu, you have become famous among Ndigbo, Nigerians and around the globe. A search of ‘Nnamdi Kanu’ on the internet generate a humongous supply of information, articles, news stories in text, audio and video formats.
Truly, you have earned my respect and the selfless, unselfish and sacrificial gifting of your time, resources, history and life to lead Ndigbo towards the actualisation of peace, growth and freedom for Ndigbo get my admiration.
At the time of your incarceration by the Buhari-led federal government, I took my time to watch videos and interviews you gave while you were in United Kingdom. The speeches you made regarding the failures of governance in Nigeria and how Ndigbo has continued to suffer in terms of poor federal infrastructures, political appointments and social abandonment.
When President Buhari gave an interview in the US saying he wasn’t interested in the parts of Nigeria that didn’t vote for him, a lot of us abroad thought he was joking. Personally, I mistook the statement for an error because it didn’t align with the campaign promises and manifesto of the All People’s Congress (APC), the political umbrella that ushered President Buhari into power after three previous failed attempts.
I assumed President Buhari will not be so closed minded, withdrawn, archaic and politically outdated to undermine his party over his sentimental preferences, religious affiliations and ethnic affinities. I was wrong, a lot of Nigerians now realised that President Buhari is just a another means, not the messiah that was going to fulfil the paradigmatic changes promised by APC.
Today, Nigerians in Nigeria and abroad have all acknowledged that APC is another rebranded political icon and a gathering of the known ineffective Nigerian leaders. A political party synonymous with limitless lies, propaganda driven, prattlers and nepotistic fellows who want their cronies and families to occupy Federal appointments and employment positions.
As a matter of fact, Nigeria’s recessional movements have gone from static to continuous declines. The same people that lambasted the celebration of Alamaiseigha and the Thanksgiving Service of Olabode George after serving his prison time were in celebratory and jubilant mode after President Buhari visited Nigeria after he was away for 103 days for an undisclosed medical ailment.
Today, every voice that arises in opposition is silence privately through silent threats to families and business concerns. The political party that once claimed to be democratically progressive is retrogressively chastising Nigerians, planning to censor Social Media and threatening to bar Nigerian musicians from shooting musical videos abroad.
Recently, a world acclaimed Nigerian musician, Innocent “2face” Idibia was silently quieted when he tried to organise and lead a 1-MILLION MAN match against this Buhari-led Federal government.
Nnamdi Kanu, I do not blame you when you refer to Nigeria as a zoo. I will not call you names, argue or debase your assertions for saying “democracy isn’t in practice in Nigeria” because how can one explain an incarceration of citizens in prisons for having different, oppositional and outspoken opinions without any trial and court’s pronouncement?
In Kaduna, an outspoken Nigerian was jailed by Gov Nasir El-Rufai because he raised concerns over the policies of the state. In fact, in that same Kaduna state, members of Shi’ites were attacked and killed by orders of those in Kaduna governemt house and the Governor did nothing about it. A lot have alleged that the governor gave the maiming orders himself.
OurMumuDonDo movements faced violence by the Nigerian Police Force and were violently combated, publicly chased, with their properties and cars destroyed for organising peaceful protests. All they demand for was that President Buhari should either #ResumeOrResign.
Dear Nnamdi Kanu, if you take a succinct look at the trajectory of Ndi’Igbo, the history of our fatherland and why Ndigbo exist in abject inadequacies, you’ll be flabbergasted at your discovery. In an obversarory mode, you will realise the roles Ndigbo had played in previous attempts to achieve this quest of Biafra.
Most significant to the failures of previous quests is the singleton of the quest, a one-man mission with others playing distinct roles in fellowship. It has been a pursuit of a single leader, who is adored, revered, celebrated, prostrated for, worshipped by others.
This tendency leads to failures. Before you was Ralph Uwazurike and before him was others and at the beginning was Late Odumegwu Ojukwu. All attempts failed because the quest, planning, mobilisation were placed on the leadership, ideology, knowledge, strength and wisdom of “ONE PERSON”. There is a limit to what a single person can do, no matter the person’s level of knowledge, education, exposure and citizenships.
The Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)
This umbrella in some quarters is still argued as an affiliate, a supportive organisation to the quest to actualise Biafra. A lot of information and objectives of this organisation are unknown, unknown even to the pro-Biafra supporters.
Quite remarkably, Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB or whatever umbrella you associate your quest with needs formal structuring, an institution-like arrangement that takes the weight away from a single individual.
At this very moment, if anything happens to you Nnamdi Kanu, what happens next? Who is next? What then will the quest be? Do you know how long it will take another to rebuild, restart or reboot this quest for Biafra? Nnamdi Kanu, do not make the quest for Biafra about yourself or your ideas, else it will fail.
Study the independent government of Catalonia where a unilateral but nationally unofficial organisation represents the desires of the Catalans on their quest for national independence. Interestingly, while the parallel organisation exist, they still abide by the general laws of Spain, until their signed referendum is accepted.
Catalonians are not riotous while they wait. They are not disobeying the Spanish laws. They do not cause social unrests, destroy properties, disrupt vehicular traffics neither do they take laws into their hands. They action peacefully because no one’s life is worth wasting for the actualisation of a nation called Catalonia.
Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, you can actualise Biafra without the loss of one life. Putting people in harms way to forcefully and violently actualise Biafra will lead to the eventual destruction of Biafra lands, its people and whatever has been built before now. War is never an option to peace. Warring should be after all forms of dialogue have proven abortive.
Here are few recommendations you could use to achieve your quests peacefully, strategically and briskly and these suggestions will save lives, properties, time and develop our fatherland and its people on the long run.
Start with the following:
1) Form an organisation or interim government with membership from all the Biafran territories. Democratically, among yourselves, elect those who we lead your organisation.
2) With the interim body, organise and have elected leaders in each of the Biafran states to oversee, coordinate and organise the affairs of their respective states.
3) Declare a 2-day SIT-AT-HOME in the Biafran territories and hold a referendum among the Ndigbo living in Biafra. This is needed for evidential, analytical and testimonial purposes.
4) While planning the sit-at-home days, invite local and foreign media to cover the events in each of the Biafran states. The coverage will further heighten awareness and expose to the world the people’s opinions towards their resolutions to actualise Biafra.
5) With this documentation and publicity, you can begin to make educational materials, propagate agenda for a Biafran nation, create sensitisation and regular orientational discussions with existent governments, business leaders, religious groups and civil societies in the Biafran territories.
The referendum and regular institutional functions of the Biafran parallel government will legitimise your quest locally and internationally. You will have access to involve Biafra in the comity of regions that want nationhood across the globe, for example Catalonia, Vatican City and Taiwan.
With the formed Biafra leadership, create official channels of communications and keep tabs with your people. Organise meetings among the elderlies, go to schools and openly discuss Biafra. Ensure that Biafra and Igbo contents are introduced into the curricula of the school systems in Biafran lands.
Discuss your aims and objectives. Plan with your team and follow through on your timelines. With a good frameworks, within a short period, without violence, with the existence of formality and not worshipping of individuals, Biafra’s actualisation will be near complete.
A sudden change is a dangerous one. An unplanned change is disastrously detrimental to the changer and the changed. See the processes it is taking the United Kingdom, your second home to leave the European Union. The Brits didn’t need the approval of EU to conduct a referendum to leave the EU.
Even after the referendum, a new Prime Minister was chosen, a particular British representative was selected to begin exit talks with EU. A deadline for the actualisation of an independent Britain has also been set. This is how change works towards nationhood. This is how a people attain independence without fights, wars or losses of human lives and properties.
Nnamdi Kanu, Biafrans do not need the approval of Nigeria to hold a referendum. You sought after this because you didn’t plan your moves effectually.
Subjectively, it exposed you and your organisation to social and structural ills because proper consultations and planning weren’t meticulously and strategically performed before the heightening of the levels and awareness of your quest.
I drop my pen now to continue later because my toddlers need my attention. I will within a short period, complete this letter with a conclusive message to the Ndi’Igbo in general. God bless Biafra and God bless Nigeria.
STEPHEN C. IKEBUDE