- REJOINDER by Prof. Chinweizu to an article titled “Biafra is a state of being”.
Why do Igbos have so many thinkers who grab the surface of things and refuse to look below appearances and see deeper? When the obvious isn’t being done, shouldn’t we look deeper and look for why? Maybe there is something hidden from our view that’s preventing it. Like they say: If you don’t understand a problem you can’t fix it. Hence prescriptions have to be based on comprehensive and detailed diagnosis, no? A medical history of a disease is the first step towards understanding its causes.
Before stepping forward to offer his prescription to solve the problem of Ndi-Igbo in Nigeria, one should study the history of Nigeria and dig up the root sources of the problem. Perhaps the author of the above prescription should have looked into the history of Nigeria, starting with the process that led to the amalgamation that created Nigeria in 1914. Then he might have appreciated the remote causes of Nigeria’s problems. Or he might have even started with the proximate causes by analyzing the 1999 constitution of Nigeria to find out how and why Nigeria operates the peculiar way it does.
In analyzing the constitution, he can see how it differs from those of Germany, the USA and Spain; and how the Nigerian Constitution is a fake federal constitution; and how it blocks the autonomy and economic development options of the constituent units that the truly federal constitutions of Germany and the USA provide their member states; autonomy which Bavaria, California and Catalonia have used to run their affairs and do the laudable things they have done.
If he carried out such an analysis, he would have discovered that expert lawyers have pinpointed the 68 items in the “Federal” Government’s Exclusive Legislative List that deny the states the freedom to use their assets to develop themselves. He would then have seen some of the hidden blocks that are preventing Igbos from doing the obvious things that were done in Bavaria, Catalonia and California. I suggest a visit to
and also tohttp://thenslm.com/home/
The video at the first link, and the documents posted at the second should help us sufficiently understand the problem to find the solution.
Let’s identify the constitutional obstacles to some of the specific ideas, obvious and good ideas, proposed in “Biafra is a state of being”. The # of the obstacle item on the Exclusive Legislative list is given in brackets (#k) First and foremost let’s consider this:
“they (IPOB) MUST start DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY from EVERY elected official in the South East.”
They can demand till they drop dead, but can they get the official to heed their demands when the elections are organized, candidates are selected, and results are declared by INEC (# 22) and enforced by the police and other security services (#45) and the military forces (# 38)? If your town union elections were organized by INEC, and candidates are selected by INEC, would you be able to freely elect, remove or otherwise hold your town union officials accountable to your townspeople?
“the Governors should come together, put money together from their budget and start building a second Niger Bridge. Start dredging the River Niger at Onitsha. Start developing the dry port at Abia.”
But they can’t because ports (# 36d), River Niger (# 36b), trunk roads (# 11), are all on the Exclusive Legislative List
“Put their money together and elevate Enugu Airport to a level HIGHER than Lagos or Abuja airport. Things like that. Developing the Owerri Airport to a full international cargo airport.”
But they can’t because of (#3):
3. Aviation, including airports, safety of aircraft and carriage of passengers and goods by air.
“Quality educational institutions are lacking in the East even though we constantly produce the highest number of applicants to universities. Let us build more by collaboration with our foreign diaspora. They’re the best in many parts of the world. Lets harness this advantage.”
But you can’t because of (# 60e):
60. The establishment and regulation of authorities for the Federation or any part thereof –
(e) To prescribe minimum standards of education at all levels.
It prevents you from setting educational standards that would create quality educational institutions of any kind.
“We need a world class Stock Exchange in Ala-Igbo. We can achieve that without the Federal government, because we own trading.”
But you can’t set up any because a stock exchange engages in trade and commerce, and a state government can’t engage in or regulate trade and commerce because of (# 62):
62. Trade and commerce, and in particular –
So a state can’t register, let alone operate a stock exchange.
Furthermore, the following are on theExclusive Legislative List, (# 60 a,b,c,d,e,f) and prohibit many crucial things:
(a) trade and commerce between Nigeria and other countries including import of commodities into and export of commodities from Nigeria, and trade and commerce between the states;
(b)establishment of a purchasing authority with power to acquire for export or sale in world markets such agricultural produce as may be designated by the National Assembly;
(c) inspection of produce to be exported from Nigeria and the enforcement of grades and standards of quality in respect of produce so inspected;
(d)establishment of a body to prescribe and enforce standards of goods and commodities offered for sale;
(e) control of the prices of goods and commodities designated by the National Assembly as essential goods or commodities; and
(f) registration of business names.
(a) says you can’t conduct interstate or international trade;
(b) says you can’t establish Marketing Boards—the cash cows of the Eastern and Western regions in the 1950s and1960s;
(c) says you can’t inspect and enforce quality of produce: even if you had Marketing Boards, they can’t ensure the quality of the produce you export.
(f) says you can’t even register businesses to engage in anything, any trade.
You own trading? No, you don’t! Wake up to the constitutional reality.
“What we want is for people to come and start investing in Ala-Igbo, from all over the world. They will do this massively if they see the political will and infrastructures being laid down in Ala-Igbo.”
Really? Then consider these realities:
Without permission of the Federal parliament, in which your Caliphate enemy have given themselves a permanent majority, you can’t
Incorporate, regulate, wind up corporations (#32) or regulate capital issues (# 12) or Insurance (#33);
Build airports (# 3), build alter or maintain trunk roads (# 11), build or manage ports and port authorities (#36d);
Trade—whether internationally or interstate (# 62), or send out trade representatives to promote your exports (# 20);
Control your mines and mineral resources, (# 39)—you can’t even do geological surveys to find out what minerals you have in your land;
Organize your tourism industry because you can’t “identify, collect, preserve or generally look after ancient and historical monuments and records and archaeological sites” or establish museums, libraries etc. (# 60 b,c,d);
Prescribe minimum standards of education at any level (# 60e)—so you can’t raise the quality of your work force;
Regulate labor relations, set minimum wage, regulate industrial relations and settle industrial disputes (# 34);
Maintain law and order in the streets using police (# 45), prisons (# 48), army, air force, navy (# 38);
Do any census or registration of births and deaths (#8) to enable you determine your human resource base.
Now, if you can’t do any and all of the above necessary things, let’s see you do a Singapore, Taiwan, Bavaria, Catalonia, or California.
Please, let’s avoid the slap-dash crisis pressure thinking for which emergency meetings are notorious.
And please, please, let’s encourage our naïve and lazy intellectuals to do their homework before going public with their vague ideas and fantasies.
Professor Chinweizu is a renowned African thinker and author of The West and the Rest of Us: White Predators, Black Slavers, and the African Elite