Biafra: Referendum, The Sure Path To A Bloodless Peace In Nigeria

Written By Mazi Edozie For IPOB Writers

Date: 08/03/2018


Although the spilling of innocent blood of the masses in the discourse of freedom in Nigeria has been a recurrent and continual practice especially when agitations for separation appear to shake the fabrics of the country, I strongly believe that a referendum is the sure guarantee to a bloodless peace in Nigeria and an end to similar agitations cropping up crises in the country. It should not come as a surprise the level of crisis befalling Nigeria because Nigeria is not a country borne out of the masses mutual consension. The indigenous people that make up Nigeria never came to the table of agreement in any referendum exercise to register their willingness to coexist with one another. Not at the amalgamation in 1914 nor at the start of what is called democratic regime - which is best referred to as a camouflaged autocracy - were the indigenous people of the Nigerian state unanimous in coexistence. Then, how does one expect strong dissidents not to agitate for freedom? It is no news that indigenous people in the Nigerian state are now agitating for freedom, of which agitators for a Biafran state (which include Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Movement For The Actualization Of The Sovereign State Of Biafra, MASSOB, Biafran Revolutionary Organization, BRO, Eastern People Congress, EPC, Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra, JRCB, Biafra Liberation Crusaders, BLC, Salvation People of Biafra, amongst others, who on the 28th of June last year chose Nnamdi Kanu as the overall leader) happen to be the eloquent and unequivocal voices. And with the rise in Fulani herdsmen's barbarism and the impunity that fuels it, a national revolution is inevitable as the sleeping lion in many indigenous lands in the country are waking up to the fact that indigenous people's coexistence in Nigeria is better renegotiated without which extinctions of people are inevitable. And in mine opinion, a referendum remains the best process suitable at this point to avert the looming catastrophe, since one major bone of contention remains that indigenous people of Nigeria had no platform to massively choose their fate in the country, not in the 1914 amalgamation nor at the birth of democracy in Nigeria, rather were coerced into coexisting with one another, which is a fact that designates the Abdusallam Abubakar 1999 constitution, which at the intro states, "We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having firmly and solemnly resolved to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign nation", as a fraudulent statement. A referendum, which in some countries is the same as the plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question, is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. Nigeria is not the first country to be faced with such agitations capable of putting the country in flames. Many countries have successfully resolved their differences and reached a consensus through the instrumentality of Referendum or plebiscite. Even the infamous government of Britain, which apparently put the indigenous people in Nigeria into this mess, recently conducted a referendum concerning their membership in EU, which majority voted to exit the Union and will soon conduct another referendum for the Scots to decide their fate in Britain. In Africa, different referendums have been done. In April 1993, Eritrea had a referendum, after thirty years of war to exist independently from Ethiopia. In 19th March 2011, Egypt held a constitutional referendum and in similar manner when on February 20, 2011, thousands took to the streets of Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier, and Marrakesh, in peaceful protests demanding a new constitution, a change in government and an end to corruption in Morroco, the response of King Mohammed VI on 17th June that year was a series of constitutional reforms, to be put to a national referendum on 1 July that year, although some people revolted and protested against the referendum yet it held successfully. In Asia and Europe, the referendum has been used to determine the fate of countries: East Timor voted on 30th August 1999 to exit Indonesia. In early 2010, the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats joined together to carry out "Five Constituencies Referendum" even though the Basic Law of Hong Kong does not have official provisions for a referendum. The current Constitution of Iraq which was constituted on 15 October 2005 - two years after the US-led invasion - was approved by referendum. The best method or process that settles the Nigerian continued eruption of crises is referendum and Nigerians should prove that they are not under the apron strings of Britain and rise up and do the needful - support the move for a referendum - since the colonial master - Britain - is herself organising the referendum in her own country. Finally, the massacre of indigenous people in a bid to protect the territorial integrity of a country borne out of coercion has done a great damage to the technological advancement in Africa as great intellectuals lose their lives to keeping the country one and such should not be allowed to go on. Therefore, let everyone solve this coexistence problem once for all in a referendum, such as the one being organized by Biafrans. If Nigerians decide to coexist, let it be, but if it's to dismember, let it hold - that is the meaning of democracy - majority's decision stands.



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