■ March 04, 2017
BIAFRA FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND POLICY
The State of Biafra shall be a union of voluntary nations with the same irreducible value-system, culture and historical ties. To join the union of Biafra, each proposed constituent nation or sub-nation listed below must vote in a referendum, where they will unambiguously assert their will to be part of the union of the State of Biafra.
There shall be no, inducement, coercion, force, pressure or arm-twisting. The rebirth of the State of Biafra shall be a coalition of willing nations under the protection of the Most High Supreme Creator of the Universe Almighty God Chukwu Okike Abiama, in whose grace and protection we place our trust.
BIAFRA AUTONOMOUS NATIONS
The idea of national autonomy is based on the principle of equality of all constituent Biafra nations.
They shall constitute the primary area of Legislation, Governance, Management and Control of Natural Resources and issues relating to Self-Determination.
The Purpose of Biafra Autonomous Nations are:
- to reaffirm our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
- To maintain national peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and national law, adjustment or settlement of national disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
- To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
- To achieve national co-operation in solving national problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
STATE OF BIAFRA GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE
- BIAFRA PARLIAMENT
The three branches are :
the Legislative – the part that makes laws,
the Executive – the part that carries out ( executes) the laws, and
the Judiciary – the courts that decide if the law has been broken.
These Separation of Powers helps to make sure people are safe. The executive branch carries out the laws but cannot make laws to make themselves powerful. Also the judiciary is responsible for making sure that criminals are punished so that members of the government or legislature cannot ignore the law as the judiciary can check on them.
The Executive carries out the day-to-day government and administration of Biafraland. It proposes laws to the parliament and executes the laws passed by the parliament. The Executive is formed from the majority party or parties in Biafra Parliament. Members of the Executive (Directorate of State) are all members of either the Biafra Parliament or National Legislature. The operation of the Executive and the Parliament are inextricably intertwined.
- There shall be a Prime Minister who is the head of government and leader of a multi-party System in Biafraland.
- The Prime Minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government.
- The Prime Minister is the pivotal person in contemporary executive governments. The PM is the focus of public and media attention and has immense power to shape the composition of the government and determine its policy directions.
- The Prime Minister overviews the Executive Arm of Government in Biafraland, including information on the major Conventions, the operation of the Directorate of State, the work of Ministers and the Cabinet, ministerial behavior and resignations.
- There shall be a President of Biafra who shall be elected by the Chamber of Deputies by a secret ballot process.
- The minimum age limit for the office of the President shall be 30years, and the maximum age limit shall be 75years. Minimum qualification shall be the old Standard Six or bachelors degree in any discipline.
- The President of Biafra is the de jure head of Biafraland. The position is largely an apolitical and ceremonial role.
- The President’s ceremonial roles include signing every law (except those about the President’s powers) and international or bilateral treaty, ceremonially appointing the Prime Minister, confirming and endorsing the credentials of ambassadors, and receiving the credentials of foreign diplomats.
- The President is the only government official with the power to pardon or commute prison sentence.
- The President appoints the Chairman of the Treasury Board of Biafra upon recommendation from the Prime Minister.
- The President also ceremonially appoints judges to their posts after their selection, he/she is nevertheless crucial to the operation of Biafra’s executive government.
- The President chairs the special session of the Directorate of State, gives assent to legislation, makes appointments on the advice of the government, and performs a host of other executive and ceremonial functions.
- The President’s role is also in appointing the Prime Minister who is usually the leader of the largest party in Parliament following an election, dissolving parliaments and calling elections.
- There shall be a Parliamentary System of government in Biafraland.
- Biafra Parliament shall be sovereign in an exercise of functions relating to the governance of Biafraland. It shall exercise this sovereign powers through the office of the Prime Minister.
- Members of Parliament shall be elected in general party-based parliamentary election.
- From among the elected members of the Parliament, the Prime Minister of Biafra shall be elected by members of Biafra Parliament.
- The minimum age limit to be elected a parliamentarian shall be 21years.
- The Parliamentary Dress code shall be corporate – suit and tie.
- The maximum age to seek elected office shall be 55years of age.
- There shall be a Speaker of the Parliament and a Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
- Biafra Parliament shall be the legislative arm of government and an equal partner in relation to the other two (2) arms of government namely the Executive and the Judiciary.
- Individual parliamentary privileges include:
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom from arrest in a civil action for anything said on the floor of the house. All statements made on the floor of the Biafran Parliament is covered by privilege and shall not form the basis of a lawsuit.
- There will be NO immunity from arrest and prosecution for all elected officials and public servants.
- Exemption from jury duty
- Exemption from appearing as a witness
- Freedom from obstruction, interference, intimidation and molestation
- Collective parliamentary privileges include:
- Power to discipline
- Regulation of the House’s internal affairs
- Management of Employees
- Authority to maintain the attendance and service of Members
- Right to institute inquiries and to call witnesses and demand papers
- Right to administer oaths to witnesses
- Right to publish papers containing defamatory material
- Parliamentary Committees amend bills on the appropriate subjects. Committee chairpersons are chosen by their members, on a recommendation of the House Committee, and their factional composition represents that of the Parliament itself. Committees may elect sub-committees and delegate powers to them, or establish joint committees for issues concerning more than one committee. To further their deliberations, they invite government ministers, senior officials, and experts in the matter being discussed. Committees may request explanation and information from any relevant ministers in any matter within their competence, and the ministers or persons appointed by them must provide the explanation or information requested.
Permanent committees amend proposed legislation dealing with their area of expertise and may initiate legislation. However, such legislation may only deal with Basic Laws and laws dealing with the Parliament, elections to the Parliament, members of the Parliament, or National Legislature.
Special committees function in a similar manner to permanent committees, but are appointed to deal with particular manners at hand, and can be dissolved or turned into permanent committees. Parliamentary inquiry committees are appointed by the Prime Minister to deal with issues viewed as having special national importance. In addition, there are two types of committees that convene only when needed: the Interpretations Committee, made up of the Speaker and eight members chosen by the House Committee, deals with appeals against the interpretation given by the Speaker during a sitting of the Prime Minister to the Parliament rules of procedure or precedents, and Public Committees, established to deal with issues that are connected to the Parliament.
- Permanent committees:
- House Committee
- Finance Committee
- Economic Affairs Committee
- Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
- Interior and Environment Committee
- Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs Committee
- Education, Culture, and Sports Committee
- Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee
- Labour, Welfare, and Health Committee
- Science and Technology Committee
- Committee on the Status of Women
- Special committees:
- Committee on Drug Abuse
- Committee on the Rights of the Child
- Committee on Foreign Workers
- Biafra Central Elections Committee
- Public Petitions Committee
- Child Welfare Committee
The other committees are the Arrangements Committee and the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee is responsible for jurisdiction over Parliament members who violate the rules of ethics of the Parliament or involved in illegal activities outside the Parliament. Within the framework of responsibility, the Ethics Committee may place various sanctions on a member but is not allowed to restrict a members’ right to vote. The Arrangements Committee proposes the makeup of the permanent committees following each election, as well as suggesting committee chairs, lays down the sitting arrangements of political parties in the Parliament, and the distribution of rooms in the Parliament building to members and parties.
- There shall be a Chamber of Deputies made up of Traditional Rulers and Elders.
- Members of the Chamber of Deputies shall be elected by the people of the respective villages/towns of State of Biafra on non-partisan basis.
- The minimum age to be elected to the Chamber of Deputies shall be 30years.
- Every President of Biafra must come from the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber of Deputies shall elect the President of the State of Biafra from among those qualified for the office of the President within the chamber.
- Dress code shall be native of traditional wear – no corporate wears will be allowed.
- The Chamber of Deputies shall have an oversight function over the Laws passed by the Parliament of the State of Biafra.
- The Chamber of Deputies shall elect “The Speaker of the House of Deputies” who shall head the House of Deputies.
- The Speaker shall forward the name of the elected President to the Prime Minister who shall in turn present the name to the Parliament for ratification.
- Members of the Chamber of Deputies shall not belong to any political party and are in effect custodians of our ancient cultures and tradition. They epitomise truth, integrity and honour of the people of Biafra.
- There shall be National Legislatures for each Nation that make up the State of Biafra.
- The Powers of the National Legislature shall devolve from the Nation of Biafra and guaranteed by the Parliament of Biafra.
- The head of each National Legislature and by virtue, head of government business pertaining to that region, shall be called the Premier, who will be elected by members of the respective National Legislature who will in turn be elected by the people in a party based national elections.
- There will be a National Legislature for each Nation that makes up Biafra, for example the Igala National Legislature.
- The National Legislatures shall have 100% control over all natural resources found within its boundaries.
- National Legislatures shall have full financial/fiscal autonomy pertaining to the internal workings of that nation.
- The National Legislature shall have full right to exercise fiscal autonomy over the economic affairs of the region.
- The National Legislatures shall have the Right to Self Determination. This right shall be exercised through a Referendum of the people in an election. If 2/3 of the people of a particular Nation are in support and agrees to leave then they MUST be allowed to exit the union peacefully. Such a Referendum shall be ratified by the State of Biafra Parliament for formality sake.
- The National Legislature shall have the powers to break away from the union and exist independently from the State of Biafra or they can vote to join with another nation to become one larger Legislature.
- All Nations of the People of Biafra shall have District Assemblies depending on population size and geographical spread.
- The Powers of the District Assembly shall devolve from the National Legislature
- There shall be the office of the Mayor with an administrative Council in each District/Province.
- The Mayor shall be elected by the people in a regional election.
- The District Assembly members shall be elected on a fixed term.
- Any part of Biafraland can vote through a Referendum to leave the union of the State of Biafra if 2/3 of the people and 2/3 of the members of Parliament of the Nation are in support and agree to leave. Such a Referendum shall be ratified by the Biafra Parliament for formality sake.
- National indigenous language(s) shall be the language of business in respective National Legislature.
FISCAL AUTONOMY & NATURAL RESOURCE CONTROL
- Every Nation in Biafraland shall have full ownership of all natural resources found within their Region, for example, the oil and gas found in Izon land belong to the Izon Nation, the gas, coal and oil found in Ala-Igbo belongs to the Ala-Igbo Nation. The same applies to every nation in Biafraland.
- There shall be no individual ownership of natural resource assets in Biafraland because they are Commonwealth and belongs to all the people of the nation where they are found. Individuals may own shares and equity in mining and exploration companies but the practice of a person owning oil wells will be explicitly prohibited in every part of Biafraland.
- Proceeds accruing from the sale of all natural resources shall be used solely for the development of the nation from where the resources are found.
- Companies engaged in the prospecting of natural resources in Biafraland shall pay royalties to the Treasury of the National Legislature of the nation from where the natural resources are found.
- Mining companies of all exportable natural resources in Biafraland shall pay operational tax accruing, to the Central Government of Biafra ring-fenced for the infrastructural development of the whole of Biafraland.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/ FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY
- Elected officials and civil servants shall not operate foreign bank accounts and shall not own properties outside of Biafraland.
- All employed persons and companies shall pay tax.
- Compulsory public declaration of assets by civil servants and political office holders before assumption of office. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from office, fine and prosecution.
- Civil and public servants shall be precluded from engaging in private sector business while still in active service.
- There shall be free movement of persons, goods, and services within Biafran territories.
- Every adult of working age or above 18 must complete an annual tax returns to the Revenue Department.
- Education shall be free and compulsory up to OND level or it’s vocational equivalent. Parents that fail to send their children to school without valid reason shall be prosecuted.
- Every child under the age of 12 years shall be the ward of State. Their welfare up to National Primary Health Care provision shall be the responsibility of the State only where parents opt of the scheme and can demonstrate income to cater for the needs of the children under his/her care.
- Children of civil servants and public office holders shall attend public schools nearest to their place of residence. Children of Ministers of State are barred from studying abroad. Should any Minister desire to send their children abroad for studies, they are expected to first resign from their position as public servants before doing so.
- There shall be a unified subsidized public health care system across Biafraland subject to availability of funding.
- The Health Services Commission shall be responsible for the public health care system.
- To make sure that critical infrastructures are developed and maintained, foreign medical tourism or treatment by elected government officials and civil servants will be prohibited. Any Minister or political office holder whether elected or appointed must first resign from their position should they wish to embark upon foreign travel for the purposes of securing medical treatment.
NATIONAL AND SOCIETAL DEVELOPMENT
- There shall be a 75years Biafraland development plan which shall focus both on Infrastructural and Societal Development.
- Human Capital Development not natural resources shall be a priority in the implementation of the 75year development plan.
- The use of electric generators with the exception of emergency agencies like hospitals, police, ambulance, fire service and defense headquarters will be prohibited in Biafraland. Those dealing in electric generators will be encouraged to get involved in power generation and distribution.
- A Public Accounts Commission shall be put in place which shall verify every government approved contracts and make same public. Every government contract or project involving the use of public funds must be published in a government journal and made public. Every contract bidding process must be held in the open.
- Employment, Food, Clothing and Shelter are Fundamental Rights of every Biafran citizen and any national government that fails to meet agreed set targets will be dissolved and fresh elections called.
- High youth unemployment above 10% of the employable adult population will trigger automatic resignation of the Biafran Prime Minister. Deterioration of Road infrastructure shall be a ground for the resignation of a Mayor. Irregular electricity supply shall constitute grounds for the resignation of a Premier.
- Child Labour like street hawking and other forms of child employment shall be prohibited and offenders prosecuted.
- Discrimination in whatever form shall be prohibited and offenders liable for prosecution.
- Bribery and corruption shall be prohibited, both givers and takers of bribe shall be prosecuted.
- All Biafran districts, cities, towns and villages shall have indigenous and native names as prescribed by our progenitors.
- Special assistance shall be provided to people with disability in Biafra and it would be against the law to discriminate against disabled or physically challenged persons.
- Electricity and water supply are fundamental rights of Biafrans and must be uninterrupted.
- The Calabar, Eket, Warri, Igweocha, Oneh and Onitsha seaports shall be upgraded to modern international standard.
- The Police shall not be routinely armed neither are they allowed to carry guns on the streets of Biafra and when not on duty must be in civilian clothing. It shall be purely a civilian service dedicated to serving the interest of safeguarding lives and properties of Biafrans.
- There shall be no Police Barracks in Biafraland. Police officers shall go to work from their homes or places of residence as every other civilian.
- On no account shall the military be deployed on the streets of Biafraland to deal with internal civil unrest. Every internal law enforcement situation will be dealt with by the police.
- There shall be no Police check points, rather the police shall patrol the highways and street of Biafra in Police vehicles.
- Special armed Police Response Units and Air Ambulance Units shall be established.
- All arrests and searches of private property must be by authority of the Magistrates. Where an arrest is made without such authority, the Police must inform a Magistrate within one (1) hour of an arrest.
- If an arrest is made during Emergency period, the Magistrate must be notified within 24 hours of the arrest.
- All prosecuting powers shall be vested in the Office of the District Attorney and the Department of Justice. The Police must present all accused persons before a competent court of law with jurisdiction to hear such matters. If the Police and Directorate of Justice are found to be have connived to delay the arraignment of an accused person on time, they will be summarily dismissed from their positions and prosecuted.
- The National Bureau of investigation has the power to arrest and investigate in accordance with the law but cannot prosecute an offender.
- There shall be an independent Ethics Commission within the Police authority which shall report to the office of the Attorney General.
- Accused persons must be charged to court within 48hours of their arrest
- Bail of arrested persons must be free.
- The relation or next of Kin of an arrested person must be notified of the arrest within 2 hours of an arrest and a lawyer for the arrested person must be present before interrogation. Where the arrested person cannot afford a lawyer, the State MUST provide a lawyer for him/her.
- Biafra Military shall comprise of the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and Coast Guard
- The duty of the military shall be to defend the territorial integrity of the State of Biafra against external aggression.
- The military shall not be seen outside the barracks in military wears/uniform or carrying guns except during external emergencies and external national security threat.
- The Military shall not be deployed or mobilised to deal with internal civil issues and unrests. Only the Biafra Parliament and respective National Legislature has the right to vote to levy war.
- Outside the confines of military barracks every military personnel is effectively a civilian and must not indicate or identify who they are by their military rank unless under interrogation by the Police.
- The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature of Biafra government.
- The trial of offenders in criminal trials must be by Jury and not by one Magistrate or Judge deciding the fate of an accused person as this leads to miscarriage of justice.
- Criminal cases must be concluded within 3 weeks.
- Fundamental freedom of press, personal opinion, speech and of association shall be protected under the law. It shall be prohibited in law for a journalist, broadcaster or public commentator to be arrested or prosecuted for criticising the government, her policies or State agents.
- To protect our environment, Gas flaring and oil spillage shall be an offence
- Use of firewood shall be phased out and every building shall have gas pipelines for uninterrupted gas supply to all household
- Our polluted farmlands and rivers shall be cleaned up preserved and protected.
- The natural village settlement shall be protected.
- Biafran Government shall provide free oil and gas to Oduduwa and Arewa nations to aid their development. This shall be reviewed every 5 years by the Biafra Parliament.
- There shall be no noise pollution, no sirens, no police escorts and no convoys.
- Only Emergency vehicles such as Ambulances, Fire Service and Police cars may use sirens when on emergency duties.
- Heads of foreign governments visiting Biafra may have two (2) front outriders in front and one or two Police cars behind but without sirens.
- In times of Emergency only emergency services and Agencies shall be mobilized and deployed.
- CAVEAT EMPTOR
Nations are free to merge and de-merge within Biafraland and Nations that are not within Biafraland are allowed to join Biafra and be part of it as long as the indigenous people of that nation decide through a referendum. For example; Should Bini Indigenous People want to be part of Biafra, the indigenous of Bini will decide if they really want to join through referendum and that they are willing to abide by the laws and rules governing Biafra.
Published by Umuchiukwu Writers