FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS, REVOLUTIONS AND SELF-DETERMINATION
Some people glibly and dishonestly speak of duplicating at the west coast, particularly in Nigeria, the kind of spontaneous uprising such as taking place in the northern part of the African continent. But true revolutions do not happen on faulty social structures. The problem as it is in Black Africa today, no matter how hydra-headed they may appear is no more than one fundamental problem – a faulty political/social structure.
For a society to cohere and truly function on positive principles that engender progress and development it has to have some basic elements. The most important of those elements is the uniformity of culture or commonality of world view or way of life of the people within that society. So it is only with the presence of this element that such a society can dream of spontaneous decisions and actions since such only emanate from the people’s culture. Revolutions are nothing more than cultural mobilizations of a unified population. To effectively mobilize a society so that they can act as one unit, the people must have one world view and common aspirations. You cannot have a conglomeration of divergent people with very diametrically opposed cultures and views within one choking space and expect them to rise up overnight to carry out an action that has a unified objective.
In the Nigerian context such acts will never happen because there is practically no unifying cultural affinity amongst the peoples within the enclave. The rest peoples want the Islamic sharia legal system as their political/social code of conduct while the Southeasterners, the Biafrans would rather remain fundamentally democratic (ohacratic) and free to choose how they believe and worship.
The topic of state or the human society calls for sincerity, honesty and true pragmatism in its discourse. The reason is because the society determines the level of comfort that the human members enjoy. So it becomes criminal and unforgivable to handle or talk about a society’s issues flippantly or just as a mere display of glib eloquence and learning. A desirable future or a people’s destiny and well-being do not depend on mere show of learning but in the practical application of those things learned for the benefit and advancement of the people’s living condition and the functioning of their society. It is an act of dishonesty and immoral pride and vain display of mastery of the abuse of language to write in flowery language about all the ills of the people and society and not make sincere effort at proffering practical solutions to solving these anomalies. Or out of fear, dishonesty or negligence offer solutions that are mere half-measures and half-truths.
Many Igbo/Biafran people have for so long hidden behind fraudulent chicanery in their approach to the situation of their people and Homeland with relation to Nigeria. Naturally the Igbo/Biafrans are known to be sincere, honest and blunt in assessing situations and arriving at conclusions. It is the people’s elite who are expected to articulate the people’s situation and aspirations and sincerely proffer sound and honest directions and solutions that are based on practicable premise. But when such group fails in this sacred duty then there is every reason to fear for the people. Considering Igbo/Biafran elite’s approach to the very bleak and hopeless situation of their people’s continued existence in the Nigerian state one wonders where the Igbo/Biafran people’s usual repute for boldness, honesty, aka idi ocha and ikenga has gone to. The Igbo/Biafrans have never been known to live in or tell half-truths yet what is going on amongst them seems to cast doubt on the characters and persons of Igbo/Biafran elders and leaders of today. The prevalent situation with regards to Igbo/Biafran people in Nigeria calls for an urgent, practical and drastic solution. Half-measures and half-truths will no longer suffice.
For the Igbo/Biafran who thinks along that line of expecting that whatever he or she considers a revolution will happen for them and their people within the Nigerian context is only trying to follow the path of least resistance. Such is not being creative but lazy and unwilling to task the mind on how to come up with real and veritable solutions to the unfortunate predicament that has befallen this and subsequent generations of their people in the Nigerian state. Nigeria was put together as a colonial commercial business structure, first and foremost for the good and profit of the colonialists. With that established we can then agree that there is nothing sacrosanct about Nigeria’s political boundary. When the colonialists left in 1960, Nigeria should not have existed beyond that first day in October of the same year. Now the mistake has been made and it has become obvious to the entire world that Nigeria as presently constructed will never work therefore it behooves all the various peoples concerned to sit down and break up the country along ethnic/cultural blocks as they had been before the unfortunate incidents of colonial amalgamations.
The Igbo/Biafran people must, for the interest of their coming generations get actively involved in extricating themselves and Homeland from the Nigerian union as a matter of urgency. This is the era of Self-Determination which as in the case of Southern Sudan is being achieved through referendum. There is absolutely no future for the Igbo/Biafrans in Nigeria because the extant Nigeria is not based on any structure that will enrich and advance the lives of the indigenous peoples. Choosing the path of Self-Determination is not a crime because there are actually three laws that back up such choice. The first one is Natural Law which gives a people anywhere, the power to choose to live freely as a people on their own terms without infringing on the liberties and aspirations of their neighbors. The next one is the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 1981/1986.
The peoples that make up today’s Nigeria are estimated to be about 250 different and distinct cultures and they must be allowed to choose how they want to be governed and live their lives and with whom they want to relate. The solution to the problem of Nigeria and by extension the rest of Black Africa does not constitute on fixing so-called “free and fair elections”, “bad leadership”, “corrupt political class” and similar mantras as being chanted and bandied around by some who are not willing to find permanent answers to the problem. That those fanciful words are mere smokescreens and do not constitute Africa’s problem is demonstrated every day throughout the length and breadth of the continent. Currently in Ivory Coast the folly of those chants is being played out at the huge cost of thousands of human lives, displacement of a large percentage of the population and the destruction of properties. With what is going on in Ivory Coast today the Igbo/Biafrans can learn a good lesson from there. This is April 2011, the so-called “election” in Nigeria will as usual be a sham and brazen mockery of human reasoning and the Ivory Coast syndrome will set in.
We may also need to remind readers that the Nigerian state is behind the majority of the problems going on today in Ivory Coast and in Libya. They had to break away from African Union’s agreement in both places because they wanted to get even with the two countries. They want to punish Ivory Coast for having supported the Biafran Project during the Biafra War and for Libya because Gaddafi had about a year ago advocated that Nigeria should be split up along ethnic/cultural boundaries to help end the endemic bloodletting by the Muslim jihadists on the rest of the population.
Already the Igbo/Biafran people have lost 3.1 million of their people to the genocidal pogrom and war of 1966 to 1970 to the Nigerian Monster and must not give room for a repeat of the murder. They, Biafrans should start working today at exercising their Natural and God-given Right to Self-Determination and, free their people and Home space from the Nigerian degradation. Nigeria is dead and it is good riddance of a bad dream.
Written by Osita Ebiem.