Opinion | Distinguishing The LNC Self-determination Paradigm From The “Biafra Restoration” Agitation: Note From A Non-Igbo Stakeholder

By Tony Nnadi

On October 7, 2019, John Essienumoh of Akwa-Ibom State wrote on Facebook as follows:

“IPOB is an island isolating other stakeholders in the south and middle belt in the struggle. I bet it’s a struggle in futility if its actions are not reversed, or come to terms with other ethnic nationalities concerned”.

One Chinagorom James replied John as follows:

“John Essienumoh, IPOB is not isolating any group of people or ethnic group as you just said, if you want go and join them. Go and register with them IPOB have boundaries so if your boundary fall between go and join. Then if your boundary fallout if it please go and form your own agitation group to librate your people. IPOB activities is for Biafran freedom and not for entire Nigerian. Thanks”

Seeing that Chinagorom James and a few other IPOB sympathizers seemed not to grasp the fundamental issue John Essienumoh was raising, Tony Nnadi of the LNC clarifies as follows:

“Chinagorom James, it is clear that you do not understand what John Essienumoh is saying and so I am making this post to explain it to you and others who may be in the same error.

Whether they know it or not, the “Biafra” that the IPOB proprietors (who are all Igbo), ostensibly seek, presupposes the inclusion of John Essienumoh’s Homeland now labeled Akwa-Ibom State (ie Annangland, Ibibioland, Efikland, etc).

That “Biafra” also includes the entire Ijawland, Ogoniland, Ikwereland, Anioma, and a lot more.

The issue John is raising is that his People and the rest of non-Igbo Components of the Old Eastern Region (1967 Biafra) just woke up and heard some Igbo elements making furious broadcasts from London about “Biafra Restoration” without any form of Consultations with them whose Homelands are included in the “Biafra” being restored. This totally negates and in fact, tramples upon the Self-Determination Rights of the Non-Igbo Nationalities of the supposed “Biafra”.

The Igbo head of organizers of the commotion, (ie IPOB) soon became the “Supreme Leader” just as all the known Principal Officers of the IPOB are Igbo. The Footsoldiers of the IPOB at home abound in Aba, Onitsha, Owerri and other areas of Igbo hinterland. Overseas, those waving “Biafra” flags and chanting warsongs are all Igbo.

Now take a close look at the 1885 Ethnolinguistic Map of the Lower Niger Adopted at the Solemn Assembly of the Peoples of the Lower Niger in Port Harcourt (April 27, 2015) as the Geographical Basis of the Proposed Lower Niger Federation. This 1885 Map aggregates the entirety of what was the 1967 Biafra as well as the 1967 Midwestern Region (where Asaba, Agbor and the rest of the Delta Igbo are, along with rest of the present Delta and Edo States ie Urhobo, Isoko, Bini, Esan, etc). The Map clearly delineates the Broad Groups of Constituent Ethnic Nationality Components of the Lower Niger Territory. The 2015 Solemn Assembly amongst other things also Mandated the Distillation of a Charter of Relationships to Clearly define the Terms by which the Lower Niger Constituent Nationalities would Federate. This 1885 Map and the Proposed Charter of Relationships Comprehensively Address the Misgivings, Distrusts and the Suspicions inflicted by the 1967 Biafra on the Peoples of the Lower Niger.

You will see that the IPOB presents the picture of ONLY the South East Component Igboland which itself is only a part of the wider Igbo Territory captured in the 1885 Map.

Whether or not they know or intend it to be so, the message IPOB and all of those chanting “Biafra” “Biafra” all over the place are sending to John Essienumoh and ALL the other People whose Homelands are shown in this 1885 Map is that : “the Igbo of South East are preparing to invade their homelands” !

Knowing the unfortunate circumstances of the 1967-1970 Biafra Campaign, the LNC spent the 6 years between 2003 and 2009 to go to each of the established Leaderships of various Nationalities of the Lower Niger to present the LNC Propositions about how the Peoples of the Lower Niger Territory could jointly extricate themselves from the Lugardian/Caliphate Prison called Nigeria and Federate amongst themselves for a shared equitable future outside the Lugardian/Caliphate Prison.

The other point John was making is that in order not to isolate the Greater Eastern Nigeria into a conflict in which the rest of Nigeria will be united against that Greater East, (as was the case in the 1967-1970 Biafra Campaign), it is imperative to find a way in which the bulk of that rest of Nigeria will be united to collectively free themselves from the Caliphate Prison Nigeria has become for them but that the methods of the IPOB also offends and alienate the rest of Southern Nigeria (ie the Yoruba) as well as the Middle Belt, and therefore upsetting the critically required cooperation, coordination and cohesion required to unravel and defeat and free themselves from the Union of Death, Attrition and Backwardness as foisted by the Worse-Than-Apartheid 1999 Constitution, along with the Sharia Caliphate that Imposed it.

This is precisely what the LNC set in Motion via its Outreach arm called the Movement for New Nigeria (MNN) which has brought the entire South and Middle Belt Territories into an Alliance (MNN Alliance), rejecting the Caliphate-Imposed 1999 Constitution and isolating the 12-State Sharia Caliphate Contiguous Territory as shown in the Alliance Map below.

The MNN Alliance therefore defeats and decapitates the 1967-1970 Caliphate-Led Alliance that came against Biafra.

John is saying that the IPOB seems completely oblivious of this Alliance-building imperative.

Between their failure to build internal cohesion within the Lower Niger Territory and even the more abysmal failure to build multi-Region Alliance with the Non-Caliphate rest of Nigeria, John is saying that what the IPOB is doing is doomed for failure unless it reverses itself completely back to what will succeed.

Let those who seek “Biafra” find the discipline to learn what they do not know about the wider Battle-Field into which they are straying, almost completely blindfolded by the Rogue Global “Biafra” Franchise. If they don’t, they would only spill their blood in absolute ignorance with no prospects of success.

The LNC had in the course of the last 12 to 15 years engaged the Leaderships of the various “Biafra” seeking groups including MASSOB, BILIE, BGIE, BZM, CG-IPOB, IPOB and a long list of others, with the LNC/MNN Template and RoadMap but unfortunately, (except for the post-Uwazuruike MASSOB led by Uchenna Madu), most of the proprietors of those platforms turned out to be Rogue elements who are more interested in their mercantile enterprise using the tools of Emotions, Sentiments, Noise, Propaganda, Falsehood, Deceit, Blackmail, Empty Braggadocio and Vacuous Razzmatazz.

Meanwhile, multitudes of ill-informed, hoodwinked but very zealous “Biafra Restoration” Footsoldiers are going about taking Caliphate bullets in the assurance that “Biafra” will come by their blood self-sacrifice, completely unaware that they are being mobilized to their death by cold-calculating criminals”.

If the “Biafra Restoration” and other Regional Agitations are Vigorous Lamentations and Expression of a Desires for some form of Liberation, the LNC/MNN Grand Script represents a Strategy and RoadMap for attaining those Desires.

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Tony Nnadi, Legal Practitioner and Secretary-General of Lower Niger Congress (LNC), writes from Lagos.