Biafrans who believe in legal/ political methodology to achieve self determination for the people of the former eastern Nigeria have thrown their weight behind Atiku/Obi Ticket on the basis of their promise to restructure Nigeria into Regional Governments.This was made known to the newsmen through a statement signed by the project Chairman -Barr Emeka Emekesiri.Barr Emeka Emekasiri issued the statement on behalf of the IPOB Biafra Project consisting of the following entities:
(1) The nation of the remnants of Biafra called Indigenous People of Biafra being the claimants in a representative capacity in Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 between Biafra and Nigeria in the Federal High Court of Nigeria
(2) The Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra being the administrative government structure for the claimants
(3) The Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN) being the political and diplomatic arm of the claimants
(4) The Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra being the Elders’ Governing Council for the claimants.
The statement reads in full ”we received the news of the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Sir Peter Obi for the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria with great joy. Nevertheless, we want to go to the root of the matter and avoid being influenced by the emotional public reactions carried by the wind of the unbridled desire to change the buharized changes. Yes, the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired a special name for himself in the administration of Nigeria. We can now competently create words to describe his government as the buharization of Nigeria in the Nigerian political lexicon. Yes, with due respect, I say that we have been buharized enough!
We are aware that Sir Peter Obi has a vision and a mission to renegotiate Nigeria by way of devolution of power to the regions. At the launch of Nigeria’s Golden Book in Abuja in 2011, the then Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State called for the renegotiation of Nigeria in the following words, “Let’s renegotiate Nigeria”, published by The Sun Newspaper, Wednesday, 28 September, 2011. He condemned the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and said, “I agree with Mimiko that we need to talk. We never sat down to develop this Constitution. It was entrusted on us. Every time amendment, amendment; let’s discuss that document entirely. We are either a federation or not. Let’s state where we are. This is as simple as ABC. I sit in Anambra State and get orders and instructions from somewhere else!”
At page 266 of the Book, “Biafra or Nigerian Presidency- What the Ibos Want”, published the following year in 2012, the author reported Governor Peter Obi as follows: ‘The last statement of His Excellency, Governor Peter Obi, needs some emphasis: “We are either a federation or not…I sit in Anambra State and get orders and instructions from somewhere else!” In a nutshell, he is asking for autonomy in a federation. He wants to be free to govern his people in their best interest. He is like a shepherd who knows the best care for his flock but receives contrary orders and instructions from somewhere else! He is like a medical doctor who knows the best treatment for his patient but receives contrary orders and instructions from somewhere else! He is like a lawyer who is required by law to act in the best interest of his client but receives contrary orders and instructions from somewhere else! The Governor wants the foundation of Nigeria to be restructured so that each unit would be autonomous.”
Autonomous Regional Government is our demand. We the Biafrans under the entities listed above have decided to support the Atiku/Obi candidacy not only because it appears they have listening ears and will work in the interest of the people but because their vision is in line with our vision for the Biafra Project Phase 2. In our originating summons in Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 in the case between Biafra and Nigeria, in which we had 8 prayers, our Prayer No 7 is as follows:
“An Order affirming the Memorandum of Ohanaeze Ndigbo dated 28th June 2012 submitted to the National Assembly for the restructuring of Nigeria into six autonomous self-governing regions, namely: South East, South West, South South, North East, North West and North Central, as a manifestation of the Will of the People in the exercise of their right to self-determination and directing the Defendants to present an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a law granting autonomy and self-governing status to the six geopolitical regions in Nigeria; OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, in the role of the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man, an Order directing the Defendants to present an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a law dissolving Nigeria in peace along the compatible ethnic groups instead of allowing the country to break up in bloodshed”.
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We still stand by this Prayer. It is either devolution of power to the regions to govern themselves as autonomous regions or peaceful dissolution of Nigeria so that we can go our separate ways! Although it appears that the Defendants have frustrated the judicial process with incessant adjournments of the case and infiltrating the body of the officers of the claimants to remove the vision bearer and destroy the case, we have activated the political process to achieve the same goal. Our political movement is the Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN) which is fully engaged in the Nigerian politics in the interest of the Biafrans. We shall “mobinize” all the Nigerians including the Biafrans living in Nigeria to vote for the Atiku/Obi candidacy and stop the buharization of the country. We believe in the achievement of self-determination by the rule of law and political diplomacy. All the indigenous peoples amalgamated by force to create Nigeria desire freedom. It is not only the Biafrans that want freedom. All the ethnic nationalities want freedom. It is either freedom within Nigeria just as the four countries of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland enjoy their freedom within Britain or freedom outside Nigeria just as Eritrea is free from Ethiopia. We are Biafrans living in Nigeria. We are Biafrans by indigenous identity but Nigerians by citizenship which was forced upon us against our will. We must maintain our indigenous identity as Biafrans in Nigeria just as the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish maintain their indigenous identities in Britain. It is a symbol of our indigenous identity as a people without prejudice to the sovereignty of Nigeria until we gain independence by due process of law.
We do not want Peter Obi to become a mere spare tyre and an errand boy in Aso Rock serving the interest of the rulers of darkness in the high places but an active partner in the decision-making process. Therefore the basis of our support to the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi is the vision to restructure Nigeria into autonomous self-governing regions in line with our Prayer No 7 in the Federal High Court of Nigeria. Any type of restructuring that does not guarantee the autonomous governance of the regions will not be accepted by the Biafrans. We shall stand with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Sir Peter Obi as long as they stand with us in our quest for self-determination by granting our request for autonomous regional government.
Emeka Emekesiri, Esq.
Chairman IPOB Biafra Project
By the authority of the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra