Igbo Position on the Current Political Developments in Nigeria: Self-determination Is It – says ADF
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) is an activist pan-Igbo group whose membership is drawn from the intellectual, business and political elite corps belonging to the ethnic nationality. With the current upheaval in today’s Nigeria, the status of Igbo strategic interests within the country and overall fate of the post-colonial nation state are of great concern to Ndiigbo, for obvious reasons. A committee was set up to look into the matter with the expectation that the team’s findings shall provide a sound and justifiable basis for deriving what can be deemed to be the Igbo Position. Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is member of a committee tasked with ascertaining the Igbo Position on behalf of the totality of Ndiigbo on current scheme of things in Nigeria. The letter clarifying the official stance of the ADF on the subject matter is published in full below:
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dear Senator Abaribe,
Thank you for the brief chat I had with you the other day on the ongoing exercise to produce an Igbo position regarding the future of Alaigbo in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as the future of the Federal Republic of Nigeria itself. I am pleased that the information I gathered from our discussion was also confirmed by a release which you made earlier.
I should also underscore the apology I rendered to you to explain why I was absent in the Abuja meeting you summoned to deliberate on what is in circulation as Igbo Position. I told you I was not invited to the meeting nor was I informed about the meeting. I do not know the composition of the meeting, whether it was on individual or organizational basis or both. Whatever is the case, neither myself, as I have said earlier, nor the ALAIGBO DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ADF) under whose umbrella many fellow Igbo compatriots and I have been making our modest contributions to the search for the way forward and survival of the Igbo nation, given the extremely turbulent situation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, were invited.
From our brief discussion and the document you posted earlier, I gather the following which appear to clarify the issues in the controversy regarding the genesis, the authorship ad content of the document being circulated as Ohanaeze document on the Igbo position. These are –
The Committee set up by the President of Ohanaeze on the Igbo position did not and has not really produced any independent document. What is being circulated, according to you, is the Igbo position presented at the 2014 National Conference organized by the Jonathan Administration.
- This account of the genesis of the Ohanaeze document as contained in your note confirms the testimony of some of those listed as members of the Committee for drafting Igbo position that they were not aware that any such document had emanated from the work of the Committee. One of them informed me that he was at the inaugural meeting of the Committee but after that he heard nothing more.
The Abuja meeting
Dear Distinguished Senator, the report we received from those who attended the meeting you summoned is that majority of the participants felt that the documents was inadequate to reflect the realities of today about how Ndigbo feel about this republic. In my brief chat with you, you hinted that some of the participants at the meeting you summoned were of the view that Ndigbo should just adopt the Ibadan Declaration of the Yoruba. This to us, is the wrong way to go. If we do just that, many of our well-meaning Yoruba friends will get the impression that Ndigbo have not gotten over the psychology of Civil War defeat. They will not take us seriously. It is either we do not know what to say or we are afraid to speak our mind. Whichever way, it is not an honorable way to go.
Igbo Position and the Ibadan Declaration.
What the Yoruba Nation expects from the Igbo Nation is to come up with our own position. The same for other groups – the nationalities in the Delta Region, the Middle Belt and those in the Southern Kaduna, for all of us to sit down and forge a joint position which will genuinely accommodate and reflect the interests of the nationalities in a common alliance. Such a joint position and alliance or united front is possible now, thanks to Buhari, (the modern-day Othman Dan Fodio) and his regime that have made it possible for all the oppressed and hitherto manipulated nationalities to come to an awareness that, indeed, they have been held hostage like slaves since 1914.
Such coming together on the basis of shared interest and agenda will guide and unite them in the inevitable showdown with their common enemy that is already on the verge of eruption.
This is the spirit behind the ADF memo which was released at the Enugu meeting organized by Nzuko Umunna with some section of the Yoruba leadership. ADF did this after Ohanaeze President failed to react to ADF request urging to be given opportunity to present the position for our people to examine and decide the way forward.
The ADF Memorandum on the Future of Alaigbo…
The ADF Memorandum, which some have called ADF Green Book, has done a long historical and systematic analysis of the roots of the Igbo predicament in Nigeria which is due mainly to the artificial and skewed nature of the federation. This covers most of the pages (8-49) of the booklet. The solution ADF proffers as the way forward for the future of Alaigbo is on pages 50-60. This document was a collective product of the immense long hard deliberations of the intellectual, religious, traditional, political and business leaders who are actively working on the ADF platform.
What ADF has produced is not The Igbo Position. It is a memorandum for the Igbo nation to consider and adopt if found adequate.
Luckily enough, hundreds of thousands of Umuigbo, all over the world, now see in the ADF Memorandum a pointer and reflector of the soul and mind of the Igbo nation today.
Ndigbo want an autonomous region of their own, founded on the inalienable principles of Self-determination and Self-reliance. Such an autonomous region could remain part of a central union of autonomous regions with powers ceded to it collectively by all the autonomous regions that agree to remain under a common political umbrella. However, the alternative appears to be more popular today among our people, namely, a full blown separate existence as an independent republic. So, they must have one or the other.
The ADF attitude to the 2014 Resolutions of the National Conference organized by the Jonathan Government is that the document is now very inadequate and therefore irrelevant in addressing the current stage of the crises in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A lot of things have happened since 2014 to expose more clearly the roots and nature of the crises and the dangers we all face.
On the Igbo Position
The solution to the present political quagmire is beyond constitutional amendment; it is beyond the powers of the National Assembly or the Executive. It requires a political conference in which representative of the nationalities will determine those who represent them in such a political conference. The outcome of their deliberations will be subject to a National Referendum.
Our advice, dear Senator, is for you and your team to ask various organized groups of Umuigbo to present their thoughts as a working paper which can be discussed and out of which an Igbo Position can be distilled. If there is spirit of candour and genuine commitment to the cause of our people, the ADF document is adequate as a document we can review for the purpose.
Finally, dear Senator, ADF believes that we all, the present generation of Umuigbo are duty-bound to commit ourselves to working to overcome the persistent predicament of our people so that all of us, the present and future generations of Umuigbo, shall live life of dignity and self-confidence, under conditions of Self-determination, Freedom and Self- Reliance, co-exist and live at peace with our neighbors, be capable of protecting our lives, land and natural resources, ancestral homes, wives and children as well as our collective and individual interests, apply our God-given talents and endowments for the betterment of ourselves and the entire human race, do honor to the spirit of our ancestors and serve our God without let or hindrance.
I have directed the ADF Administrative Secretary to deliver to your office about twenty (20) copies of the ADF Memorandum on the Future of Alaigbo and the Future of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am also attaching the soft copy to this letter.
May our God and our ancestors protect and guide all of us. Thanks.
Prof. Uzodinma Nwala
Aham-Efule Aka Ikenga
February 21, 2018