The pro-Biafra agitators are determined to make their agitation come through. Proponents of the agitation, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are hell-bent on actualizing their goal undermining what the agitation may cost them.
This is why irrespective of the deaths being recorded following their agitation, the agitators, made up of majorly youths, are never perturbed. Rather, the groups are waxing stronger and getting more energy to push on.
The agitators are of the view that no matter the time it takes and the energy spent, their dream of an independent state of Biafra must be actualized.
To this end and prior to the pronouncement of independence, the agitators have carved out states and provinces which they deem are part of the Biafra Republic.
Although it is believed that some of the areas carved into the Biafra map are not Igbo speaking, the agitators gave reasons for including the areas into the map.
According to the map, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Rivers states, Igbanke area of in Edo state, Igala in Kogi state and Idoma area of Benue state have been carved out as the territory of the yet to actualise Biafra republic.
The agitators have argued that the map was drawn based on the understanding that Biafra is not only for Igbo speaking people, insisting that it was drawn out of the old eastern state.
The map is divided into 25 provinces beginning with Agbor, Asaba, Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Orlu, Ikot Ekpene, Uyo, Eket, Ogoja, Calabar, Enugu, Orji River, Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Okigwe, Annang, Abakaliki, Yenagoa, Warri, Ahoada, Ughelli, Degema and Port Harcourt. These 25 provinces as they fell they should be called make up the Biafra republic to soon be declared.
Some Biafra agitators in Delta who spoke with our correspondent argued that the agitation for Biafra will not be dropped for any reason, irrespective of the pressure from the federal government. They say no matter the hard stance of President Muhammadu Buhari, Biafra must be actualized.
Amobi Egbune, an indigene of Abia state, said Biafra is a realizable goal. He said it is an outcome of marginalization from the Nigerian government, adding that with the weight the agitation is building, one does not need to be told that Biafra is achievable.
He said, the hard stance of the federal government cannot hinder the actualization of the movement. This, according to him, is because the federal government cannot dictate to the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations. He said these bodies will be the determining factors when the ships are down.
His support for Biafra, he said is because there is no justice and equity in Nigeria.
For the map covering other areas that are not Igbo speaking states, he said Biafra is not an Igbo speaking concept. According to him, it is an umbrella that holds people with common goal and objective. It cuts across difference geographical divides, breaking religious barriers and gathering together a people of the same view with a common destiny.
On the issue of consulting the people of other zones before drawing the map, he said everybody in the area drawn is aware. He also said the Urhobos in Delta are fully aware, noting that they are part and parcel of that marginalization of the federal of the federal government.
On Delta state government’s decision not to join Biafra, he said it is politics the state is playing, maintaining that every government definitely must sub pedal on their support for the agitation for Biafra. This is so because the oath taken by governors during their swearing in is to protect the constitution of the nation, hence they cannot support publicly the dissolution of the Nigerian state.
He, however, said no government will sit down and see their people being marginalized and will not support the salvation of their people but since they are in government, they must diplomatically support the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
His argument may not be far from the truth. A senior official in the Delta state government, who would not want to be named confided in NAIJ.com that it will pay the people of Delta more to join Biafra than remaining with the government of Nigeria.
He said the name Biafra does not refer to the Igbo speaking alone, thereby supporting the view that Biafra is all encompassing word for all marginalized people in Nigeria. He told our correspondent to remain in Nigeria as he is ready to key into the Biafra agitation.
Emma Okocha, authorn of Blood on the Niger, and an indigene of Asaba, also toed the views of the agitators. He said it will be difficult for the present minority to survive in the larger Nigerian state if a bigger minority goes without the people of Delta keying into the movement.
Although he cannot personally make decision for the people of Delta, he called for a high profile stakeholders discussion and consultation so that the people do not cry when the Biafra people finally breakaway from the Nigeria state.
A Criminologist, Ekene Aboh, an indigene of Imo state but resident in Delta, said Biafra is a group of people with a common goal and ideology, hence the map drawn covers people who have one mind and one objective.
On the possibility of achieving the objective, he said: “Are you not seeing the handwriting on the wall? The Biafrans are saying that they are in Nigeria but not of Nigeria. They have been marginalized for many years and that cannot continue.”
He added that with the growing movement, it will not be long for the dream to come to reality. He said it will not be actualized by war or violence. As it is now, he continued, the marriage between Nigeria and the people of Biafra is no longer working and it’s time the Biafrans walked out of it.
He said the Ibos are no more comfortable with the marriage, the best option is to conduct a referendum and let the people decide where they are going.
He added that the Biafra nation has existed before the amalgamation of Nigeria by Lord Lugard in 1914, noting that there will be more unity and oneness if the Biafrans stay on their own.
He argued that for long, Biafrans have been taken as slaves and “we cannot continue to be slaves for the government of Nigeria.”
He said although the federal government is against the Biafra creation, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will go and another government will come, noting that no matter what happens, Biafra must be actualized.
He asked: “What do you actually expect the President to say, no government would want his country to break. As a President, Buhari cannot say that. If I were to be president, what he is saying is what I will say. You don’t expect him say otherwise, if he says Biafra should go, then he is not the President of Nigeria.”
He told the press that the map of Biafra was drawn according to the old eastern Nigeria but added that: “You can’t limit Biafra to eastern Nigeria only. There is nothing like south south and south east. It is all Biafra. The Biafrans know their territory, so that is not a problem.”