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Will Biafra ever be a reality? and is Nigerian unity negotiable? 

On 6thJuly, 1967, the Nigerian Civil War started and ended on 10th January, 1970. And it was acclaimed that the creation of more states from the then four regions as at May 1967, without due consultation led to the declaration of the Eastern region, as an independent state of Biafra, by late Lt. Col. OdumaguOjukwu. Moreover, after the war ended, it seems as if the agitation for a Biafran state ended with the war that many saw citizens of this country (be it Biafran or Nigerian). However, years gone by, when it looked as if the consciousness of having a Biafran state, is no longer in the mind of the people of the Eastern region of Nigeria, that comes Mr. NnamdiKanu who seems to have re-awaken the consciousness for the agitation of a Biafran state for the second time in decades. Nevertheless, I think it is worthy of notes, that the pioneer of an idea may die, but it would be a greater danger to think that his ideas died with him. Although Lt. Col. OdumaguOjukwu died, but his idea of having the sovereign state of Biafra never died with him.

On 30th May, 2017, there was a celebration among some Igbo people of the southeastern part of Nigeria, about the nation called Biafra. But the question that seems not to elude me is that; was the celebration, about 50 years of clamouring for self-governance, or the celebration of the people who already have self-governance? In other words, people have been struggling to have freedom or those who already have their freedom? However, is it true “that Biafra agitation was doomed to fail on it arrival.”(just as some ‘bigwig’ and ‘smallwig’ Nigeriansasserted, and still asserting in the face of daily developments)? But as a matter of entertaining some doubt, I am against such an assertion, given that the said person never backed up his argument withany tangible reasons, other than what was said.

Nevertheless, after sometimes I seem to have understood to some extent, that the Biafran agitation for self-governance, seems to be an aim that might never become a reality. Though some might want to raise an eyebrow towards the above claim, but these are the reason why I said it might never be a reality. Firstly, we need to ask ourselves that how many states in the said region, comprises of pure Igbo speaking human beings and persons? Secondly, how many states are not Igbo speaking persons? Thirdly, has there been any consultation with those that are not Igbo speaking states, in order to ascertain whether they are willing to be part of the struggle for self-governance. Because as it stands, it is more or less like the whole thing about Biafra Nation seem like one built on an implied consent. It is a fact that cannot be overemphasized, that an implied consent cannot be used to achieve the aim for self-governance by the Biafrans, if the differences that exist between the states that do not perceives themselves as Biafrans, are not dealt with.

Notwithstanding, the agitation in my opinion is a genuine one on the ground that there is no need to hold anyone to be part of a union he never wanted to be. For instance, a man and a woman in marriage based on mutual agreement, can decide to go their separate way, when things not to be working any longer between them under the same law that pronounced them man and wife. As such, the coming together of Nigeria as a country could be likened to a marriage pronouncement by the colonial master, that seems to have hit the rock, given that the purpose for the union, could be said to have become anachronistic in nature. Such that, some of the parties involved in this union are now agitating to go out of the union, because to the it is no longer working. However, since government upon government have been claiming that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable, then the onus is on them to provide some copious arguments, on why they have conceived that our unity must not be negotiated. Notwithstanding, it is not the case that one has to give up completely over the sick like union of Nigeria, but I think with daily developments arising from the agitation for self-governance and the multifaceted problems face by this country, one ought to in one way or another entertains the benefit of the doubt, about Nigeria remaining one great Nation-State in the nearest future.

Hence, the claim that the UNITY of Nigeria is not negotiable seems to be one built on an implied consent of some sorts, which however at this point needed to be revisited, in order to be able to ascertain what the people of the various regions of this country actually wanted, if Nigeria as a Nation-State is to avoid another civil war. This is because holding unto a person against his or her wish under the same roof, is like sleeping in a house with fire burning, on its roof.

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