Some people have wondered what motivates young men like you into engaging in this sort of struggle like the Biafran struggle, in spite of the dangers involved as is the case with Biafra. So I ask you now, what motivated you to be part of the struggle?
Well, it is just like asking somebody why he is alive. It is just like asking somebody “why are you existing?” it is just like asking somebody, why do you want the best things in life? Biafra is larger than life; Biafra is about everything that is peaceful; everything that is decent; everything that is progressive, who will not give everything to possess it. That is why every true Biafran will give everything to possess it. It is not only the fact that Biafra has everything to do with our existence as a people, more importantly; millions of lives have been wasted by Nigeria and Nigerians simply because Biafrans want to be on their own.
In the process of stopping us from seeking that which is genuinely ours, millions of our people were massacred and maimed – innocent old men, women and children. In the end the whole world looked the other way. Not only that they looked the other way, they brushed it all under the carpet, and then forcibly reintegrated the Biafran people into the Nigeria state. But mind you, this is about freedom; this is about a people’s existence, and so the collective wishes; the collective aspirations of the people were suffocated.
So when you ask me what motivates me, it is nothing more than that I want to exist. Not just that I want to exist, but also that I want the generation to come to have something to look up to. Biafra is a way of life, it is a legitimation aspiration, and it is an ideology. It is something more than what anybody can think of or comprehend. Without Biafra, we are finished.
So how does it feel now that your leader is held by Nigerian state, when what he has only asked for is this same freedom you are talking about?
In fact, one cannot pretend that it is easy. It is enamors task, it is monumental just as the responsibility is unparalleled. But having said that, it is not something we were not expecting. The only thing is that it happened at this time so we have to accept it and face the challenge.
We have been expecting this kind of thing before, but we did not know that it will come this way. Now that it has happened this way, then we cannot run away from the challenges. We have accepted it and have to do all that is to be done in the circumstance. One thing is clear – no matter the intimidation, no matter the blackmail no matter the subterfuges that the Nigerian establishment is bringing into the matter – Biafra must prevail and the spirit of Biafra must prevail in the end.
It does not matter the number of us they kill, it doesn’t matter the number of us they imprison or blackmail, in the end Biafra will come to exist. This is because in the first place, it is God-ordained programme and it is about a generation; about a people. It is about the life and collective existence of the people of Biafra.
All over the world, there is freedom and spirit of freedom flowing across board. In United Kingdom, the Scottish people want to be on their own. Their agitation was recently subjected, through a democratic process, to a referendum. Now, if the British authority permitted a referendum in Scotland, why hasn’t the same British government impressed it on the Nigerian government to do same in the case of Biafra? Why is it difficult for them to do that, to know whether the Biafran people actually want to remain in that union or not?
More importantly, the United Kingdom itself is a union of willing countries, and independent countries for that matter. The only exception is Northern Island. In the United Kingdom you have the Acts of the Union between the Scottish and English people; the same thing with the Wales and English people, and the same with Northern Island. They all decided to exist together as a people.
In our own case it is something different. The colonial masters came, not to unite us but to continue to enslave us, to continue to perpetually enslave us. They have since then continued to subject us to all manner of degrading and inhuman treatment – servitude is the name. And so for how long can we continue to stay like this? That is why we are agitating. That is why we are saying “enough is enough”.
In the contraption called Nigeria, there are those who claim they have a right to continue to rule, but our people are saying that cannot be. Nigeria is sitting on the blood of Biafrans. Nigeria is not a place for us.
But if that is the case, why has it been allowed to continue?
That is a question for the British, because all the ethnic nationalities are there against their wish. Nobody asked their (the British) permission to lump the peoples together, yet there is nothing that is no commonality amongst them. There is no religious affiliation; their values are antithetical to one another. So why must they be forced to live together? Nigeria is a fraudulent entity; Nigeria is a citadel of evil; and all the evils happening in Nigeria today – like Boko Haram killing people, the economic problems – all go to the very foundation of Nigeria as an entity. The problem of Nigeria is foundational, and not of leadership. Leadership is the symptom while the cause its foundation.
In a nutshell, what then do we call the problem of Nigeria?
It is called clash of civilizations. It is a problem caused by bringing people of different cultures, ethnic or religious backgrounds together. So the clash of civilization is the problem in Nigeria. The North belief in Islamic religion; most of the South, including Biafraland is Christian. Then, some parts outside Biafraland don’t accept any other person unless you believe in their Muslim religion, like the Northern part where they practice sharia law. You know that sharia proponents have no friend. They don’t tolerate anybody who does not believe in their religion.
So it becomes worrisome when sharia law is made part of Nigerian Constitution, and existing side by side with civil law. Then, sharia is more aggressive and forceful, and there is no room for negotiation. It is either you believe in what they are telling you or you die. I have never seen in this planet where sharia and civil law is existing side by side. That is what the problem is.
You appear to have had a long thought on this whole issue, how long have you been on the struggle?
I cannot put a number to it, but as far as this new Biafra movement is concerned, I am part of the architect of it all.
Now Odua People’s Congress (OPC) has just a radio station in London, following in the footsteps of Radio Biafra, what would you say to that, in view of the fact that Radio Biafra was called an illegal and pirate radio by the Yoruba media?
My reaction is in three parts. One, it is good that we are setting the agenda and others are following. This is what we have been doing for quite some time and a lot of people were obviously claiming that we were fraudulent and did not know what we were doing. Now, it is becoming clearer to them. The same Yoruba and Hausa tribes, who were making these comments against us, are today following in our footsteps. That is good. So, as far as modern freedom fighting is concerned, they have seen that we are setting the pace, and they are following and taking a cue from us. It is a good development from that perspective.
Secondly, it is good that Odua People’s Congress has decided to follow suit in the direction we are heading. But my worry is the sustenance, their ability to sustain it, taking into account their nature of inconsistency with any pledge or agreement they make with other people. Of course you can remember Awolowo’s connection during the Biafra war, it was a treacherous conduct on his part in view of the agreement he had with the late People’s General, Odumegwu Ojukwu. It is about the Yoruba’s stabbing us at the back when the chips are down. This is well known. So we should be very careful in terms of taking it the way we are seeing it. We can’t just take it like that until they prove that they are serious. It is good that they are now coming out, and if they can actually stick to the principles of self-determination, same purpose and goal, that will be the end of the contraption called Nigeria. I think it is good that they continue on their part while we continue to do what we are doing.
Now, if at all there is any area of cooperation; that should be with every degree of carefulness. But I think there is no need for that, we have set the pace, we have made the sacrifices that were needed to make. Before this time, Biafra was a taboo, anybody talking about self-determination was regarded as a criminal, but we have changed all that. We have paid the price for it both in human and material terms. And today even the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Police are even following us, simply because we have demonstrated to the world that we value freedom of speech; we value rule of law; and we have respect for life; and more importantly we remain fearless before our enemies.
The third aspect is that we want every nationality from different parts of the contraption called Nigeria, not only the Yoruba, to follow suit because this is right. Nigeria is a citadel of corruption; Nigeria is a corrupt entity; and Nigeria is a fraudulent enterprise. Nigeria must disintegrate; Nigeria is sitting on the blood of Biafrans, and it must not continue. The souls of innocent Biafra men, women and children that were massacred in cold blood are asking for vengeance and it is certain Nigeria is now going to pay its price to history.
Earlier this week, there was this rumour that the Biafran restoration drive was experiencing some trouble in the ranks of IPOB. How true is this?
There is no problem with the Biafran restoration drive. The foundation that our leader, Nnamdi Kanu, laid is rock solid and the leadership is driven by hardcore Biafrans who will sacrifice anything for Biafra. Perhaps what they were referring to was simply an administrative issue that has long been smoothened out as we continue with the struggle.
Do you have any message for your Biafran people at this time?
Yes of course. I want to first of all commend the courage and drive of Biafran men, women and children, who have taken the responsibilities upon their shoulders. Having followed the tradition, the principles, and the footsteps of our leader Nnamdi Kanu, I ask them to continue to strengthen themselves from one level to the other, I commend them.
What I am trying to say in essence is that the arrest of our leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has been bad to us. But on the other hand, it has spurred us to work harder. So, I am telling them to continue to do what they are doing; continue to rededicate themselves to the unadulterated quest for the restoration of Biafra. The journey has just begun. The road might appear to be long and convoluted, but in the end we will get there. It doesn’t matter how many armored tanks the Nigerian murderous establishment has, it doesn’t matter the number of guns in their armory, it doesn’t matter the level of cajoling and blackmail they employ to stop us. One thing is important we do not, and we never to look back. We don’t have any intention to prevaricate; we have no intention to retreat or surrender until the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu is released. We should never step back until Biafra is restored.