BIAFRA AND ELECTION BOYCOTT: Back To Basics ~ Joe Obinna Arisikwu


The Oasis Reporters

June 25, 2017

Osita Chidoka, a governorship aspirant just announced his bid for the Anambra State  Government House, Awka

The issue of Election in Biafraland and the call from different quarters for it’s boycott is so topical today.
We have come a long way in our struggle for freedom, but our agitation is still in its infancy.
How, you may ask.

Because not one country has yet, at the very least, publicly voiced out their sympathy for our cause, talk more of declaring their support for the division of Nigeria. More so, no serving high ranking Igbo politician has done the same. It is evident therefore that our struggle, though has received wide publicity in both local and international media, is still caged in our streets.
Do not misinterprete me please, because I just stated facts.

In every freedom struggle that is pursued through peaceful means, there are always three stages:
The Awareness stage.
The ‘Take Over’ stage.
And the Diplomacy, Lobbying or Negotiations stage.
We only and just successfully completed the first stage, thumbs up to IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu; and to those that died to make this stage a success, we shall never forget your sacrifice.

That done, it is time we activated the ‘Take over’ stage.
This stage requires that Biafrans start running the affairs of South East and South South states by themselves.. There are only two ways this can be done, either Militarily or Politically.
Obviously we do not have the resources to take over Biafraland militarily, that leaves us with the other only remaining option: to take over our land Politically.
Let me be more direct, this stage requires that Biafra agitators start running the governments of South East and South South states. This brings us to the major purpose of this piece.

A lot of arguments have been made for and against Election Boycott in Biafraland. The proponents of this argue that it would send a signal to the world that Biafrans are no longer interested in anything Nigeria including her politics.
I’m not so sure but I think I have read somewhere that it will also render the election result illegitimate.
That line of reasoning is absolutely wrong and grossly myopic!
You ask why?
OK. Let me tell you.

Boycotting election in Biafraland because we want to send a signal to the world keeps us at the awareness stage.
Let me interprete better, we boycott elections, INEC announces an APC winner, let’s say in Anambra state, we protest for a day or two, or probably another one-million-man march, BBC, VOAnews, IBtimes, Foxnews and Al Jazeera carry the news, then we resume business as usual.
And then? I’d ask.
We would have just bounced back to the Awareness stage. But by then, APC would be controlling the Government House at Awka.

We have been in this first stage for the past seventeen years, from the days of MASSOB under Uwazurike to our current IPOB under Kanu. There have been a lot of successful sits-at-home, countless evangelism Biafrans have embarked on under various Freedom Fighting outfits, Million-Man-marches, countless pro-Biafra rallies all over the world and many more.
These are programs slated for the Awareness stage. They are serving their purpose, which is also the purpose the proponents of Election Boycott are presenting as the rationale behind their position.
They have made Biafra one of the front line issues. As a matter of fact, for the first time in history, a respectable international media outfit, Aljazeera, profiled a Biafra activist, Nnamdi KANU. That is a feat we achieved without boycotting elections.

Now is the time to advance to the next level. We must become a part of Nigerian politics.
Do not be mistaken, Nigerian politics is what controls Biafraland. That is simple enough. Politics is so instrumental to our struggle that we can’t do without it. One way or the other the proponents of Election Boycott will face that reality. It is what determines who controls the decision-making-wheel of our states.
The ‘Take Over’ stage demands that Biafrans take over this wheel, but that is almost impossible if we are hellbent on boycotting elections in Biafraland.

Supposing Nnamdi Kanu were the governor of Enugu state, Nibo massacre by Fulani terrorists would never have been swept under the carpet just like that. Of course the power to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators might have been contained in the Exclusive List, but the situation or his response would never have been the same as Ugwuanyi’s. What if Uchenna Mmadu were to be the governor of Anambra state or Tony Nnadi was the governor of Abia state, their responses to Onitsha and Aba massacres would never have been the same as Obiano’s and Ikpeazu’s.

Many before us have walked this road. We should learn from them. South Africa is a clear example. Our struggles may not be exactly the same, but we can pluck a leaf from theirs.
Do you know what African National Congress [ANC) fought for for 82years (1912-1994)? It is the right to vote in South African elections. The right to become a part of South African politics. It was only when they secured that right in 1994, were they able to dismantle Apartheid.

Consider the role Senator Enyinnaya Abiriba and co played in securing Kanu’s release, only then will you appreciate what Biafra agitators can do occupying those positions.
What if they rig the election and people start saying the Igbo have rejected Biafra? You might ask.
Then we do what we know how to do best: flood the streets of Biafra in rejection of the election result, which is exactly what we would do if the boycotted election, let’s say Anambra’s, produces an APC winner. So how about we give it a try first?

IPOB and MASSOB have what it takes to kick-start this stage. It is evident that the level of our acceptance in the South East and South South have geometrically accelerated, we should capitalize on that. We do not necessarily need to vote out all our serving politicians and vote in Biafra agitators to start; we only need to show we can determine who enters and who leaves our government houses. That is the only way we can establish our importance in the politics of the South East and South South.

It is only when we have sent one or two governors or senators packing that the remaining ones, in order to keep their jobs, will turn agitators themselves.
It is then that IPOB and MASSOB will become scary to Nigeria in general and Hausa Fulani APC in particular.

Believe me, the signal that will send to the world will be far better, louder and resounding than that of election Boycott.
I plead with the leadership of IPOB to reconsider it’s position on this issue of election, especially as Anambra state election is coming up soon.

The APC is buried in merriment, the PDP is celebrating and APGA is partying.
All these because IPOB have declared its # neutrality in elections in Biafraland, and they’ve got another opportunity to field candidates that will go there and start asking us why we did not invest in Buhari’s election.
And that, we must reject!

Senator Joe Obinna
(akunachuariri na mbaike)

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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