Biafra will be ready within 10 years – Kanu

By Editor on 29/10/2019

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has remained unequivocal about the actualization of his dream country of Biafra that will be carved out of Nigeria.

In this interview with Peter Clottey, Nightline Africa on the English service of the VOA, he was emphatic that the project would not last beyond 10 years. Excerpts:  

You said you want to free your people. What does this mean? What does that entail?

It means the total and unequivocal extrication of the territory of Biafra from the present British contraption known as Nigeria – complete and total sovereignty for the state of Biafra.

So, you want to be independent or secede from Nigeria, correct?

We are not actually seceding. We are going back to the way we were before the British came.

So, do you think the authorities in Nigeria as it stands now, one an indivisible, or as the authorities say, the separation of Nigeria is unwarranted and will not be entertained in any circumstances? Do you think your objective is achievable?    

It is achievable because you would expect any dictatorial state; you would expect any backward banana republic, which Nigeria has become to speak in exactly those terms. But what they have cleverly forgotten is that they are the instigators of separation. They are the ones making the polity ungovernable. They are ones going about pillaging, killing, sacking villages and occupying them. They are the ones that are taking nepotism to a new and unbelievable level.  They are the ones running Nigeria as if it is a private family business. They are the ones that have sworn to bring Islam into Biafra land. They are the ones arming and equipping the four terror groups you have in Nigeria to cause havoc and kill innocent people. We are not going to fold our hands and continue to watch this happen. The same set of circumstances obtained in 1966 when over 300,000 Biafrans were slaughtered in the North that led to the declaration of the state of Biafra in 67. This time around, we are far more prepared, far more knowledgeable, far more aware and far more exposed to allow the same thing to happen to us again. They promised to islamise and colonise us, but no, we are not going to allow that to happen.

Let me ask you this. Recently, when Nigeria held elections, you made a proclamation about support for one party and people say that if you want an independent state, why support a party to participate in an election that you don’t believe in; that it really undermines your objective of having an independent state of Biafra?

First of all, we are democrats. Secondly, we did not advocate for the voting of any particular party. What we said very clearly is that the policy of APC as championed by the cabal who are in charge in Abuja, is not sustainable and cannot be supported. We also wanted to demonstrate our ability to be flexible and more so, respond to the yearnings and aspirations of our elders, who demanded and pleaded with us to allow the voting to go on. But what I can say to you is that voting in Nigeria as you’ve well seen; thankfully you were there to observe it, is not only shambolic, but is an exercise in futility. Voting doesn’t count in Nigeria. People voting in Nigeria is a wasted effort. All the ballot boxes, all the ballot papers, all the voting stations belonging Biafrans in Lagos, for instance, Kano, Kaduna and Zaria, were all destroyed on election day, rendering them absolutely useless. What they have said to us is that we do not belong to Nigeria, we are not part of Nigeria. It is even the worst form of apartheid than what obtained in South Africa. Those were the conditions we are being forced to live under. Where the circumstances allowed us to participate; of course, we said, we were lifting the boycott. But as you can see, regardless of what you do, the outcome is always pre-determined. The Fulanis in the North will always write the results and the army will enforce it and the courts will rubberstamp it. That’s where we are today.

Does your course entail engaging with the government to achieve your objective or does that also entail picking up arms against the administration or the state of Nigeria?

Not at all. We are averse to picking up of arms. We are not interested in arms struggle. We believe that ideologically and intellectually that this war can be won and be won very convincingly. Therefore, there will be no recourse to arms conflict. But in terms of dialogue, you can’t say no to discussing with people. If they want to discuss the terms of separation, we are more than willing to accommodate them. But one thing is obvious, we are not going to stop until Biafra is restored. Our approach of civil disobedience and making sure that nothing functions that will benefit the central government in Nigeria continues unabated. We don’t intend to slacken and we don’t intend to retreat any iota. And believe you me, Biafra will come in the not too distant future. I’m very confident of that.

What does Biafra mean to the people of the land?

It is the kingdom of heaven upon the face of this very earth. What we have seen and continue to see since the creation of Nigeria, is a level of backwardness and regression, which nobody ever envisaged. Not even those who fought the British for independence would have foreseen what Nigeria would become in some decades down the line. What you are seeing is a new level of what I call primitivity in governance; a new level of poverty; a new level of backwardness; a new level of… what they have done in essence is to destroy every fabric that sustains any modern and viable democracy. By any stretch of imagination, you couldn’t describe Nigeria as a civilised, viable country. All the places that I have been to, touring the world, speaking to policy makers and influencers, have led me to believe that no one has any hope that Nigeria will survive and I can assure you, it will not survive. With this reign of terrorism, this brutal repression of free speech, this clampdown on the real tenets of democracy, that there is no way that the Fulani template for Nigeria can survive for the next five years. I do not envisage it.

Some people have said is that what you are advocating, puts your supporters and the Igbo community in danger, not only in Nigeria, but in the world. How do you react to that?

We know that freedom is very expensive. We are here in the United State of America, where people fought, died and sacrificed their lives to sustain what is arguably the most civilised and modern nation on the surface of the earth. We recognise those sacrifices and they are what we are prepared to make. If ultimately at the end of this very process there is only one Biafran man and one Biafran woman left, we will make do with that. They can then go ahead and procreate and create the future Biafran nation. What we must state very clearly is that nobody should underestimate our resolve. We are determined. My mother has just died as a result of this very effort. Many more have gone and we are prepared to sacrifice whatever it takes to ensure that Biafra is restored. Because it is not just the hope of saving Biafran themselves. Biafra will save other ethnic groups within Nigeria and Biafra, I believe is the beacon and the hope and the light of Africa. Once Biafra stands as an independent entity, believe you me, you will record development and progress within the wider Africa. But without that, none of that will ever happen.

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Some Igbo monarchs have petitioned or have requested and urged the government to allow you to come back home and give your mother, your deceased mother a befitting burial. What is your stance on that?

My mother died as a result of the agitation for Biafra and she made it clear when she was alive that anything I had to do to ensure that Biafra is restored is what I must do. Asking anybody to allow me to go back home to bury my mother is not part of that plan and is not part of the agreement. I have not asked anyone to speak to or lobby anybody on my behalf and I will not and I will not accept any, should it come across to me. What we are trying to say is this – I am not interested in going back to bury my mother if that will entail the killing, disappearance and extra-judicial torture as they always do against our people. We are not, I repeat, we are not going to do anything that will jeopardise the lives of our people. But one thing is certain, that my mother will be buried. I may be there, I may not be there, but it will not come via the dictates or the permission of the Aso Rock cabal that currently runs Nigeria.

Let me ask you this. Some of your critics are saying the advocacy for Biafra is inward-looking, is tribalistic as they say of an ethnic state and that you are seeking for the disintegration of Nigeria, which they say, is unacceptable because it questions the territorial integrity of Nigeria?

Who created Nigeria? The British? The British people are they Nigerians, are they Africans by any stretch of imagination? If Fredrick Lugard an African? What they are trying to say in essence is that because Nigeria was created by Fredrick Lugard that somehow it confers on it certain legitimacy which Nnamdi Kanu as a black African man is unentitled to question. That’s what they are saying. We keep forgetting that Nigeria is an artificial creation. It never existed until Lugard came. There was nothing called Nigeria before the British set their foot on that part of West Africa. Therefore, what we are trying to do is to return us to the basics where we were before they came. Some people have argued and I will say, not convincingly that we should just move on from here. The only thing you give a name and it bears that name is your pet, either your cat or your dog. By accepting the name Nigeria, what we have done is to say that we are not capable of creating a civilised society by ourselves and for our people. Are you telling me I can go to Europe and create a nation for Europe? Are you remotely suggesting that I can come to the United States of America and carve out, perhaps the state of California and give them whatever name that I like? Does Nigeria even have a meaning? Nigeria is a Nigga Area. That is the meaning of it. It is place for Niggas. That is the meaning of Niggaria. That is the appropriate pronunciation. Are you suggesting that we should adopt that name for our people? Why Africans come together and give themselves names they feel they deserve? Ghana was formally called Gold Coast, they changed it because the people took ownership of their destiny. Why can’t the same thing happen in Nigeria? Let me tell you this. The only reason why people are apoplectic about Biafra when it is mentioned and our need for freedom, is they fear about their wellbeing in terms of access to the oil and gas in Biafra land. All the resources that sustain Nigeria; that makes it the so-called Giant of Africa, is located within Biafra. The oil and gas is within Biafra, the manpower is in Biafra. So, when people talk about this fear of breaking up Nigeria is because they are afraid that they cannot survive on their own without Biafran oil.

I am not cutting you short, but we have an instance where South Sudan came out of Sudan and Sudan lost approximately over  60 per cent of its natural resources and is now trying to jumpstart its economy and all that. Do you want that for Nigeria as a people? A country that has lasted for almost 60 years, is this what you want for the people that you’ve grown up with, you went to school with?

But the same argument could be made for Ethiopia. You’ve just spoken to the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Addis Ababa, extolling the virtues of the Prime Minster. The reason why he received the Nobel Prize is because Ethiopia is outward looking. They recognise and acknowledge all these various agitation. They also accept the need for people to exert their identity. If the idea is to ensure that economically, Nigeria does not collapse, I have said it and I will also go on record here on VOA to say it once again that we will be prepared to pipe oil and gas to every region within Nigeria. We are ready to share the natural resources in Biafra land with all the relevant and component parts of Nigeria, to demonstrate very clearly that our agitation has nothing to do with the economic emasculation of Nigeria, but has everything to do with our right as a people to determine where we want to go. Ours is about self-determination. You must also know that half of the Yoruba race is in Dahomey in Benin Republic. That is the danger of having Europeans to come to Africa to draw your boundaries for you. We are basically operating in this present day Africa the boundaries drawn up in 1884 by Otto Von Bismarck in Germany. Do you think that is fair? I don’t think it is. And it is the duty and responsibility of Africans to apply African solution to African problems. The idea that you can come to African and say – you, you, you, you – from today, you are all Nigerians, I think is laughable. You cannot do that anywhere else, only in Africa. Why must you allow it?

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Before we go, Nnamdi Kanu, what do you expect for your people in the next five-ten years time in this struggle to establish what you describe as a Biafran state?

My expectation is that in the not too distant future, there will be Biafra. If there is no Biafra, believe you me, the consequences will be disastrous for everyone. The Middlebelt people are suffering. And even for the very first time, they are bringing their murderous carnage into Yoruba land. I shouldn’t call it Yoruba actually, because we’ve been told that Yoruba means something completely deferent; it’s O’odua. Now they have come into the West. They have pillaged and have sacked the Middlebelt. And in Biafra land, as we speak, we are under attack. Continuing with one Nigeria means surrendering our land, our way of life to an alien culture from the Sahel. It is not something we are prepared to countenance. I assure you this, no matter, regardless of what it will take to ensure the coming of Biafra, that is exactly what we are going to do. To be honest with you, I see Biafra coming within the next 10 years. I can say that to you very categorically. If Biafra doesn’t come within the next 10 years, there will be no peace in that part of the world, because we cannot stand idly by and watch them rape our mothers, abduct our daughters, massacre and rape at will. It cannot just happen. No sane, sensible person will be able to withstand that. I don’t know why the media in the West doesn’t talk about what is happening in Nigeria. You have the Fulani herdsmen, who have come with full and total support of the Nigerian state to…

But the government has said that they have set up effort to increase security, bolster security in certain areas where Boko Haram and terrorist groups have been fighting, so government has been doing something about it. This is what government is saying. Are you saying government is not doing its job, which it is constitutionally mandated, to protect lives and property?

Where is Boko Haram operating, in the North isn’t it? Boko Haram is in the North, ISIS is in the North, Al Qaeda from the Magreb, in the North and Fulani herdsmen, from the North. Only these people from the North, is responsible for sponsoring four frontline terror groups around the world. Only them. And where do you have Operation Python Dance? In Biafra land. Where do you have Operation Crocodile Smile? In Biafra land. There is no singular military exercise going on in the North. They are running away from the battlefield. All the money that they are getting from the USA; all the military assistances they have been getting from all over the world is geared towards suppressing civilian population in the South. Nothing is happening in the North. When was the last time VOA heard of any pitched battle between the Nigerian armed forces and the terrorists in the North? But they are down in the South, killing, pillaging, assisting, basically forming themselves as the vanguard for the terrorists to come in and take over. That is what is happening and that is the reality on the ground. All the lies that the Nigerian government has been telling the whole world about how they are battling Boko Haram, we have been puncturing all of that. I have been in the US now for getting over a week and we have been doing a lot of work. I can assure you of that. And very soon all will unravel , because now, the policy makers here, in this very great capital of this great nation, understand what Nigeria is up to. How come they gave Miyetti Alla N100billion, which roughly translated is about $800million. From where did they get that money? This is the fourth most deadly terrorist group in the world. The government themselves are actively encouraging them by paying them to go and take over lands belonging to other people.     




Posted on October, 29 2019

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