Details of what the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, told the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday has emerged.
It would be recalled that Kanu who was at Brussels on the invitation of EU Parliament was accompanied by top ranking IPOB members.
Though there was no available footage showing the IPOB leader addressing the EU Parliament, but below is a full text of his said address which was made available to journalists by IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful:
BIAFRA BRIEFING FOR THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT…
Nigeria in Crisis
There is a crisis in Nigeria. The Nigerian State has never been at peace with itself and recent events amplify this pending emergency.
And, as has been the case since independence from Britain in 1960, Biafrans are the easy target of the lack of a credible Nigerian state. Nigeria governs without the consent of all within its borders. Nigeria claims to be ruled by law, but in effect there is a de facto lawlessness in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s epidemic of violence flowing from the North is well documented. In 2014 the Global Terrorism Index judged Fulani militants to be the fourth most deadly terror group in the world, behind Boko Haram, Isis and the Taliban.
Lawlessness is always one step ahead of the Government. In response, the Government, when it is convenient for it to do so, attempts to give a veneer of legality to the lawlessness. Recent proposed land reforms across Nigeria do just that. The Fulani herders from the North are increasingly encroaching on the settled farmers of the South/South East. This includes Biafra. As Amnesty International has reported, there were more than 2,000 deaths in 2018 linked to this land crisis. Instead of seeking to address the violence, the Government has sought to condone it and legitimise the land grab.
There is an underlying problem in the North which has to do with climate change and encroaching desertification due to overgrazing and deforestation. This has drawn Fulani herdsmen further south and led to violence against Biafran farmers seeking to defend their land and crops. The fertile farming lands of Biafra are very attractive to the Fulani.
To address this land crisis, the Government, the President of which is Fulani, sought to establish the RUGA scheme (an acronym for Rural Grazing Area – or is it, as some suggest, a Fulani word?) whereby Fulani herders could officially move into areas and absorb land as part of a Government co-ordinated programme across Nigeria.
Is this an attempt to develop settled land practices for the Fulani, or, as is the experience of Biafrans, is the drive behind RUGA an attempt to Fulanise (or Islamise) Biafraland and force out Biafrans? Biafrans who stand up to the Fulani are killed. Because of the uproar across Nigeria, the RUGA settlement programme has been suspended, but the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) remains in place. This programme advocates ranching. How different is it from RUGA? For Biafrans the effect is the same. They are forced from their land and will be killed if they do not make way for the Fulani.
Nigeria: The Problem, Not the Solution
Nigeria has always been a fiction. The state we now know as Nigeria was created for British administrative and colonial convenience in 1914. An audacious move by the British, but no surprises in Empire. Britain’s Nigeria drew together disparate people into one entity.
To over simplify, to the North are the Muslims. Two ethnic groups dominate the North, the Hausa and Fulani. The Fulani are now in the ascendency. One hundred years ago these were semi-nomadic, pastoral people. Many Fulani continue to live as herders. The South is mainly Christian and in the South East there is also a vibrant Jewish tradition. The rural communities in the South/South East tend to be settled farmers. The principal ethnic group in the South is the Yoruba.
The South East is the region that makes up Biafraland or Biafra. There is a coherence to Biafra. Its western border is the River Niger and it incorporates most of the Niger delta. The eastern border is Cameroon. To the west, across the Niger, are the Yoruba. In the north are the Muslim people. Despite colonisation and being forcibly absorbed into Nigeria, Biafrans are defined by common values and a shared sense of identity. Biafrans don’t all speak the same language. Many Biafrans are Igbo speakers. Other Biafrans speak Urhobo-Isoko, Ijaw-Epie-Ogbia, Ogoni, Efik, Annang, Eket-, Oron-Ibibio, Ogoja, Ejagham, Igala, Idoma, Ibani and Igbanke among others.
To put Biafra in its Nigerian geo-political context, Biafraland is made up of the following Provinces: Rivers Province, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Imo, Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Bayelsa and Delta. Fulani herdsman have shown great interest in those provinces that form the central belt of Biafra, such as Enugu.
The Biafran War (1967-1970)
With independence, the persecution of Biafrans started. One colonial master was replaced by another, although, and without endorsing British rule, Biafrans fared better under the British than they have under Nigerian dominance.
First, the Biafrans who had been transplanted to the North by the British were massacred. Those that survived fled back to Biafra. The oppression and intimidation did not cease. In 1967, Biafra was left with no choice but to proclaim independence. Nigeria declared war.
Biafra didn’t stand a chance. The conflict turned the Cold War on its head. The Soviet Union and Britain actively supported Nigeria. “Biafra, Britain’s Shame” was how many described the UK position. French compassion was gratefully received but it could do little to protect the fledgling state. America’s neutrality in effect backed Nigeria. China was silent. The UN was hopeless. Biafra was doomed. Starved into submission, after three years the Biafrans surrendered. At least 2 million Biafrans perished.
The atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Biafra during the Biafran War remain unaccounted for. Was it an attempt at genocide? Biafrans were considered an existential threat to the state. The killings were indiscriminate. All Biafrans were targeted.
After the war, Biafrans slowly rebuilt their world. But, as far as Nigeria was concerned, they were not and never had been Biafrans. They were Nigerians from the South East or Igbo-speaking Nigerians. The Biafran War was airbrushed out of the Nigerian consciousness. Biafrans could only whisper about their loss. Joining the global Biafran diaspora was one option for those who could get out. Others remained in Biafraland, their Biafran identity amongst themselves, undiminished.
Nigeria continues to prioritise crushing assertions of Biafran identity. Even peacefully commemorating the War risks arrest, detention, prohibited ill-treatment or being shot.
In recent years the Nigerian state authorities have conducted three orchestrated campaigns against Biafrans. The three Operation Python Dance campaigns have been battles against Biafrans. The first campaign was in 2016, the second in 2017 and the third is ongoing. They are designed to undermine calls for Biafran self-determination.
Operation Python Dance campaigns intimidate. Serious and systemic human rights violations are carried out by state forces with impunity.
“Nnamdi Kanu Is My Leader” — Uche Mefor Clears Air On Alleged Rift With IPOB Leader
The Deputy leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Uche Mefor has cleared the air on purported rift with leader of the pro-Biafra group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Recently, the social media space was filled with news of Mefor’s alleged disagreement with Kanu.
It all started after Mefor publicly advised that IPOB should not get involved with religious politics but rather focus on the struggle for an independent Biafra nation.
Mefor’s advise came against the backdrop of Kanu’s attack on Christianity and pastors during one of his recent broadcasts.
Clearing the air on the alleged misunderstanding between him and his Principal, Mefor wrote:
“The leader of IPOB is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, my leader.
“Our conscious quest for/commitment to the guarantee of all the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all is the only way of guaranteeing of the viable,virile and egalitarian Biafran state we aspire to. It is the Biafra with the capacity to defend her citizens from aggression by the enemies and where rule of law reigns supreme with the attendant strong regulatory and enforcement institutions.This is ultimately an inexonerable reality and the irreducible minimum. We have no choice here!
“**Note*This is part of our periodic public interest devotional on this our collective quest for our collective self-emancipation.”
“To Hell With Your Biafra” — Uwazuruike Roasts Nnamdi Kanu
Founder of Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has said that Biafra should not be realized if it would be a place where elder statesmen and religious leaders would be insulted and dehumanised.
He lambasted the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, for using the London-based Radio Biafra to haul insults and abuses on Igbo leaders and elders.
Uwazurike said this in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Social Media Matters, Comrade Emma N. Nnadi, and made available to reporters on Sunday.
He said Kanu, who he trained as one of his directors in the struggle, was now using the Radio Biafra to insult and blackmail “our elder statesmen like Chief Pete Edochie, Nnia Nwodo, Church and Muslim leaders in the country.”
Uwazuruike apologized to all the people that have been insulted by Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB and blackmailed by Radio Biafra or any other Biafra news channels anywhere in the world.
He stated that in the new world order, the right of individuals to freedom of worship is allowed, stressing that “as Biafrans, we are not religious bigots.
“If the new Biafra will be a country where the freedom of religious worship will not be guaranteed, to hell with it.
“If the new Biafra as a country will not be better than Nigeria, to hell with it.
“If the new Biafra will be a nation where someone like Chief Pete Edochie, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Alhaji Asari Dokubo (Elabo Edi Abali) and every other elders of the church in the land will be insulted and abused with all cheerful boldness, to hell with it” .
“Ndigbo should forgive the uncouth and irresponsible character” of Nnamdi Kanu.
Nnamdi Kanu Not Attacking Christianity, Says IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has said its Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu never condemned Christianity but only attacked those they called fake pastors and men of God in Nigeria who refused to boldly speak up against the incessant and state sponsored killings and slaughtering of Christians in Nigeria.
According to IPOB, “Kanu’s condemnation was for religious leaders who deliberately kept quiet while Christians are killed in Nigeria, saying that does not amount to condemnation of Christianity, disrespect to Islam or any other religious body.
“He only condemned the evil of extermination of a particular religious group through state sponsored terrorism.
“Our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in his life, never condemned Christianity because he was raised in a Christian home by Christian parents and will never do such. He has respect for Christianity, Islam and other faith based religions around the world.
“”He is surrounded by Judeo-Christian faith practitioners of whom he is one. His parents died professing Judeo-Christian values. Only those fake pastors who believe solely in collecting tithes and offerings in churches without looking tangibly towards improving the lives of their fellow Christians in Nigeria are the ones behind this twisted narrative.
“May we also use this opportunity to appeal to all those who may have misunderstood our leader as disrespecting men of God or showing no regard for Christian doctrines to disabuse their minds and understand that he is only opposed to wolves in sheep clothing.
“Mazi Kanu, still has respect for honest men of God who have not compromised their divine mandate. Again, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not against any Biblical injunctions practiced by genuine Christians in reverence to God Almighty.
“For the umpteenth time, our Leader does not hate Christianity and will never attack the faith. What he is against is the twisting of some Christian doctrines by selfish and greedy pastors to fleece their brainwashed followers”, a statement by IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful said.
The statement further said that “it is on record and confirmed by the Nigerian government that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been at the forefront of defending Christians in Nigeria more than any Christian group or pastors and men of God have ever done.
“IPOB spends a huge amount of money every month in highlighting the plight of persecuted Christians in Nigeria and beyond. Over 80% of the content of his message on Twitter is about persecuted Christians.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been filling that gap for the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, not having a single social media presence in this digital age even with all their resources.
‘‘Our leader is unwavering in his divine assignment to liberate Biafrans and also every suffering Nigerian, everybody must therefore, support his ongoing expository effort which is a mandate from God Almighty”.
- News5 days ago
Forget 2023 Presidency, Biafra Only Hope For Igbo — Col. Nwobosi
- Inside Nigeria7 days ago
SARS Operatives After Financial Gain Not Justice — Amnesty International
- Politics7 days ago
We Must Not Lose Edo To Opposition — Buhari Tells APC Govs
- Metro3 days ago
Student With Highest JAMB Score, Agnes Maduafokwa Receives ₦16 Million From NSE
- Metro5 days ago
Igbo Statues ‘Stolen’ During Nigerian Civil War Sold For N85.6m By British Auctioneer
- World5 days ago
Former French PM, François Fillon And His Wife Sentenced To Jail For Embezzling Public Funds
- Politics6 days ago
I’m Not Running For Presidency — Wike
- News6 days ago
2023: I Never Said Igbo Will Never Be President — Yerima