As many have been clamouring and canvassing for a restructured Nigeria, It now becomes so obvious that we have strictly scanned through the idea with an intent reasoning and understanding. Before I could go deeper with the setups in these writing, I would rather prefer briefly to explain Restructuring and what it is all about.
Restructuring is simply to organise something such as a system or an establishment in a new and different way. Many may wish to have a different opinion or view of points over a particular set up and ideas, but the particular outcome of those setups and ideas becomes the reflective matter in most cases. Therefore, restructuring should, in other words, be the reshaping of an already laid down plan of a particular system or entity. Overtimes, we keep hearing from different angles and perspectives, people clamouring and canvassing for a restructured Nigeria. And the question now remains, has there been a canvass of such an idea before now? What actually was the outcome of such canvass when it has been presented in the higher table of the Nigerian government?
A flashback to what really happened before the war and genocide in 1967-1970 carried out on Biafrans, there were many unpleasant behaviours, actions and moves emanating from the northern and Yoruba strongholds, this led to the subjugation and marginalisation of the people of Biafra after the independence of Nigeria. First, the Federal capital territory of Nigeria which basically was situated in Calabar was relocated and then transferred to Lagos and currently in Abuja.
Most prominent educated Biafrans were denied of many opportunities from working and being part of the Nigerian government. The northerners kept accumulating and occupying most prominent positions in the government sector of Nigeria without considering other ethnics in the country. This very action led to the emergence of some men in Biafra land who were absolutely fed up with such moves from the people of the northern. Sir Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who was then the military head of the eastern part of Nigeria, decided to dialogue the matter with the Nigerian government.
After a long procession and agreements, they decided to go on with the ”Aburi accord” which permitted the change of structure in the governmental organisation of Nigeria, wherein each state is permitted to go on with its own policing, military, and resource management. But having brought the idea to the intent of General Yakubu Gowon over what he has agreed on and was about to sign, he then floated the idea and decided to go on with the formal structure which they, the northerners had already laid down for themselves in the country.
These then led Ojukwu in 1967 to declare for Biafra which is their original identity for the entire people of the east, by implication it has signalled that Aburi Accord has failed. Gowon having known the implications of opting out of Nigeria, decided to fight and make sure he subject them back into being one Nigeria not minding the result or the outcome of what these activities could result into. From 1967, Gowon moved on With his decision and brought the war to the people of Biafra to keep Nigeria as one, and these led to the loss of over 3.5 million Biafrans annihilated by the Nigeria government.
Aburi (restructuring) failed, the war ended, and now what next remains the question for the people of Biafra. Since the maltreatment, subjugation, marginalisation, and massacre of Biafrans has continued to be on the rise in Nigeria, what then remains the final solution to this problem of dehumanisation of the Biafran people in Nigeria? A question every reasonable man would always wish to ask.
Now that the idea of Referendum has been brought up on board by some group of Indigenous People, should there be any code of misconduct or action to squabble this peaceful agenda by the Nigerian government? The answer to these question is absolute no. Ever since the creation of Nigeria, there has been in several occasions were Referendum remains the final option for Peace to reign in the country such as that of the people of southern Cameron and Benin Republic who peacefully opted out of the country after the independence of Nigeria through the process of Referendum without any war or bloodshed. Why then should the case of the people of Biafra be different at this very Democratic age? A call for Referendum is not a call for war, and every reasonable man existing on these very part of the earth must definitely come to the understanding of this. Aburi has failed, and the war also ended. But yet, Biafrans are still marginalised and subjugated, and there is no other option left for them to decide their fate in a country such as Nigeria, if not through Referendum.
In Conclusion, Since the creation of the contraption called Nigeria, it is quite unfortunate that Biafrans has been experiencing all manner of inhuman treatment, assault, intimidation, rape, annihilation, ethnic cleansing, unlawful killings just to mention but a few. Hence, the only option available is deciding what and how we intend our fate to carry us, and that can be done through a referendum, and it does not in any way mean a drumbeat for war as the Nigeria government may have wanted to mean to deceive the gullible minds.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media