Following from the recent quit notice issued to Ndigbo living in northern Nigeria by the confederate of Arewa Groups comprising Arewa Citizens Action for Change; Arewa Youth Consultative Forum; Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum, Northern Emancipation Network and the Northern Youth Vanguard, the Eastern Mandate Union convoked an emergency meeting last Friday, June 9, 2017 to review the state of the country and the events that culminated in the issuance of the quit notice.
We have on numerous occasions pointed out that Nigeria is an aberration created by a colonial fiat to feed its insatiable economic appetite. Regrettably, since political independence, Nigeria has failed to weave a nation out of the welter of ethnicities that make up Nigeria to the extent that today Nigeria has become emblematic of a failed state or banana republic.
Evidences of gross violation of peoples fundamental rights exist alongside barefaced injustices and marginalization of the Igbo nation in Nigeria. Since the counter coup of July 1966, a coup organized and executed by the north with murderous intensity and directed specifically against Ndigbo, the north has appropriated the resources of Nigeria as it deemed fit and in effect ran the country aground.
The distortion of historical narratives by the north to suggest that the January 15th 1966 coup was an Igbo coup can only find relevance in the labyrinths of warped imagination by the Hausa/Fulani Oligarchy whose sense of historical justice could only have been dulled by the desert sun. It was based on this otiose and criminal distortion of history that spurned the choreographed genocidal pogrom unleashed on the Igbos living in the north between 1966 and 1967. The active collaboration of the northern military and civilian population in executing the Final Solution to the Igbo Problem in Nigeria showed a premeditated agenda of ethnic cleansing by the north against the Igbo. This was the genesis of Biafra.
Despite a jaundiced policy of No Victor! No vanquished proclaimed by the Gowonian regime, the Igbo have at every point been treated like a conquered people; and a vassal state belonging to an imperial Czar and feudal lord. In spite of the huge lessons, which a generous history holds for Nigeria, we have learnt nothing; such that today the north is still carrying on as if it owns Nigeria and the lives of the Igbo people. It is this galling display of arrogance, and tepid understanding of the forces at play in the Nigerian state that has given vent to renewed agitations for Biafra.
Falsity of the Claims by the Arewa Confederate.
Ignoring the illogicality of the communiqué issued by the north wherein is contained the quit notice to Ndigbo living in the North, we wish to note that the document is fraught with so many falsehoods and baseless claims. For instance, we consider it the height of self-delusion for the north to claim that it was the Igbo who wrought carnage on the nation in 1966. The verdict of history in this respect is very clear. It was the north that actually wrought carnage on the Igbo and people of Southeastern Nigeria and sought to exterminate them in a brutal genocidal pogrom.
The Report of the UN Commission that visited the frontlines during the period conclusively declared that our people were subjected to genocide by the Nigerian State. The north owes Ndigbo and people of south eastern Nigeria unreserved apology for the millions of innocent lives wasted by them during this period. Even today, the north has continued with its policy of extermination of our people outside their homeland at the slightest instigation. To suggest that it was our people that aggressed the north is the full definition of unrepentance anchored on reprobate minds. Therefore, the claim that the “Igbo was responsible for the first and so far, only civil war in Nigeria that cost millions of lives and sowed the seed of the current mutual suspicion and distrust is nebulous, mischievous, idiotic and downright false.
Also, the claim that the Igbo were responsible for the very first violent interference with democracy in Nigeria resulting in a prolonged counter-productive chain of military dictatorships is laughable and indicates the historical enfoolment of the north. Having eliminated virtually all Igbos from the Nigerian military in the vengeful and hate-inspired counter coup of July 1966, the Nigerian Army effectively became the Northern Army. The consequent coups in the country were planned and executed by the various northern military cabals against itself in a bid by each cartel to have direct control of the resources of the southeast. This was the reason the northern military ran the country aground in a relay-like manner. Check the records of all the coups in Nigeria since July 1966 and name one that was orchestrated by the south. None!!!
On the Biafran Agitation
Our resolve and determination for the independent state of Biafra is unshakeable. Biafra is not a brainwave. It is our vehicle of redemption and freedom from the Nigerian union that has brought us only misery and grief.
Biafra represents the movement of people out of oppression into the Promised Land of self-actualization. It is a constant reminder to the Nigerian state of its structural defects, which we have on numerous occasions called for its correction to no avail. We support the Biafran agitation. We thank the people of the southeast for heeding the call by IPoB on May 30th 2017 to sit at home. We are committed to Biafra unless the Nigerian State is ready NOW to subject itself to comprehensive restructuring.
The quit notice by the north to Ndigbo is not an accident or the action of a rascal group clamouring for relevance. It has the blessings of the northern establishment, the various denials notwithstanding
Many northern heavyweights have come out to openly canvass support for the confederate that issued the ultimatum and this is indicative of a comprehensive consultation among the northern establishment to act in concert for the interest of the north
The threat to use force to evict Igbos from the north after October 1, 2017 is in tandem with the character of the north and should be taken seriously.
We agree with the confederate that the various groups in Nigeria should go their separate ways and in due time work out diplomatic framework for future engagements
Our Position on the Quit Notice by the North
We have painstakingly gone through the communiqué issued by the north ordering our people to leave their political space and have come to the following Resolutions:
Ndigbo living in northern Nigeria must begin to make arrangements for relocation back home to avoid a repeat of the events of 1966. The ultimatum is serious and should be treated as such.
The assurances presently being given by some northern leaders and the federal government that all is well were the same assurances given in 1966 but did not prevent the carnage and genocide against our people. We must be wiser now.
The various ethnic groups in Nigeria should come together to discuss on the modalities of disengagement or dissolution of the Nigerian State without violence.
We stand by Igbo agitation for a better deal in Nigeria and if Biafra is it; then so be it. We will not tolerate a repeat of the 1966 carnage on our people. The north must know that 2017 is not 1966.
We cannot agree less with the conclusion of the Arewa Groups. In their conclusion, they remarked thus: We wish to draw the attention of the authorities and all other interest groups that there is nothing difficult or impossible for all the units that make up Nigeria to pull out if they so wish. We cite the example of the split of several independent nations from the old Soviet Union, the separation of Pakistan from India, the recent divorce of South Sudan with the former Sudan and most recently, the exit of Britain from the European Union”. This is our position.
Dr. Arthur Agwuncha
Chancellor, Eastern Mandate Union (EMU)
Nwankwo Muoneke Nwigwe
Secretary, Eastern Mandate Union (EMU)
Director of Publicity, Eastern Mandate Union (EMU)