SECOND Republic politician and Anambra State Chairman of the defunct Nigeria Peoples Party, NPP, Chief Guy Ikokwu, has urged the Federal Government to release without delay the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu because his continued incarceration is not in the best interest of the country.
Ikokwu, a lawyer of over 50 years and a chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, attributed the raging clamour for Republic of Biafra to the refusal of Nigeria’s leaders to restructure the country, which he argued is hindering the nation’s socio-economic growth.
Nigeria, Igbo must not go for second civil war
Asked his take on the raging agitation for the Republic of Biafra, Ikokwu, who fought the civil war on the side of Biafra, said: ‘’Generally speaking and in line with what Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who was the first leader of Biafra said, our people should not go for a second civil war. It is in public domain. It is on Youtube and video. Anybody can play it and listen to what he said.
In saying that, he said history should be a lesson not only for Nigeria but also for Igbo people and that the grave implications of a civil war are such that the initiators do not normally know where it would end and who and who would suffer. In the first civil war, the majority of those who suffered were the innocent people. More than a million people died and they were not the ones who started the war or were fighting the war. He said a second civil is not in the best interest of Nigeria, that Nigeria should learn its own lesson and understand that the Igbo always add value to anywhere they go. To any situation they are called upon, they add value.
They never go anywhere to deteriorate the existing situation. Not only that they are so flexible that they can change their culture – language and dressing that they and the natives will almost look alike; that the main thing Nigeria should do is to restructure the country into fiscal federalism as our founding fathers – Herbert Macauley, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Dennis Osadebey, MI Okpara , etc, who agitated and got. They fought for a federal structure and this is embedded in our national anthem – in diversity we stand, there is unity in diversity. Need for justice equity, fairplay ‘’That is where the Igbo stand. There should be unity in diversity. We should use the diverse abilities of each group. The Yoruba have where they excel.
Six zonal structure
The Urhobo, Hausa, Fulani, Tiv, Nupe, Kanuri, etc, each have where they excel. Use all these diversifications to promote a united front so that on the whole, the whole nation will rise up and be better for it. That is where we stand. There should be justice, equity and fair-play.
Once these three things are given, you will not find any more resentment or demonstration by youths. At the moment, majority of Nigerians believe in the six zonal structure.
Leading Nigerians from all parts of the country like Emeka Anyaoku, Wole Soyinka, Kayode Fayemi, Bolaji Akinyemi, etc have said a thousand times: Give these geo-political zones federating powers so that they can become the federating units. Each federating unit can take care of certain things in its area.
It can take care of its youths, hospitals, infrastructure and even local councils. If a federating unit wants one million local governments, let it create them and pay them from its own resources. It is these federating units that will now engender the issue of diversification, which economic wise, the present Federal Government has been told: with falling oil prices, you don’t have enough federal revenues again, the economy should be diversified so that each unit will contribute what it has in its area.
For instance, the South-East has oil palm, the North can produce groundnut, cotton. The South-South has rubber, oil palm. The South-West has cocoa. If we diversify the economy, Nigeria will be stronger and richer.
You don’t have solid minerals in the East but you have it in the North-East and North-Central. It is only now that the Federal Government is asking the Solid Minerals Minister, Kayode Fayemi, to ensure that the Federal Government regulates the mineral deposits and how they are exploited.
Exploiting of solid minerals
In the North, it is individuals that are exploiting the solid minerals but in the South, individuals are not allowed to pump oils. All these are not only to the detriment of the zone but also the whole the country.
Looting our national treasury more treasonable than operating Radio Biafra
On the way IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu is going about the Biafran agitation and the Federal Government slamming of treasonable charges against Kanu, he said: ‘’The issue of Radio Biafra is not treasonable. Radio Biafra is digital instrument registered in United Kingdom or America.
It is not the first time. Professor Wole Soyinka had Radio Kudirat, done abroad and broadcasting to Nigeria. NADECO endorsed such foreign radios by Nigerians. It is a matter of freedom of information.
If Kanu is guilty of treason on account of Radio Biafra then millions of Nigerians are guilty of treason in the social media because it is a digital matter now. You take your smart phone and say whatever you like – good, bad, rubbish, exemplary, etc.
By Clifford Ndujihe