Wrong or Incomplete Diagnosis of an Ailment Often Results to Ineffective Prescription for Cure: A Rejoinder by Chinweizu
(Dr. Chinweizu responds to a provocative article titled “Biafra Is a State Of Being”. The full text of the said article is reproduced at end of this enlightening rejoinder.)
Why do Igbos have so many thinkers who grab the surface of things and refuse to look beneath superficial appearances and see deeper? When the obvious isn’t being done, shouldn’t we look deeper and look for why? Maybe there is something hidden from our view that’s preventing it. Like they say: If you don’t understand a problem you can’t fix it. Hence prescriptions have to be based on comprehensive and detailed diagnosis, no? A medical history of a disease is the first step towards understanding its causes.
Before stepping forward to offer his prescription to solve the problem of Ndi-Igbo in Nigeria, one should study the history of Nigeria and dig up the root sources of the problem. Perhaps the author of the above prescription should have looked into the history of Nigeria, starting with the process that led to the amalgamation that created Nigeria in 1914. Then he might have appreciated the remote causes of Nigeria’s problems. Or he might have even started with the proximate causes by analyzing the 1999 constitution of Nigeria to find out how and why Nigeria operates the peculiar way it does.
In analyzing the constitution, he can see how it differs from those of Germany, the USA and Spain; and how the Nigerian Constitution is a fake federal constitution; and how it blocks the autonomy and economic development options of the constituent units that the truly federal constitutions of Germany and the USA provide their member states; autonomy which Bavaria, California and Catalonia have used to run their affairs and do the laudable things they have done. If he carried out such an analysis, he would have discovered that expert lawyers have pinpointed the 68 items in the “Federal” Government’s Exclusive Legislative List that deny the states the freedom to use their assets to develop themselves. He would then have seen some of the hidden blocks that are preventing Igbos from doing the obvious things that were done in Bavaria, Catalonia and California.
I suggest a visit to https://atlanticpostng.com/video-the-distressed-federation-of-nigeria-options-before-the-entrapped-peoples/ ;
and also, to http://thenslm.com/home/
The video at the first link and the documents posted at the second should help us sufficiently understand the problem to find the solution.
Let’s identify the constitutional obstacles to some of the specific ideas, obvious and good ideas, proposed in “Biafra is a state of being”. The # of the obstacle item on the Exclusive Legislative list is given in brackets (#k) First and foremost let’s consider this:
“they (IPOB) MUST start DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY from EVERY elected official in the South East.”
They can demand till they drop dead, but can they get the official to heed their demands when the elections are organized, candidates are selected, and results are declared by INEC (# 22) and enforced by the police and other security services (#45) and the military forces (# 38)? If your town union elections were organized by INEC, and candidates are selected by INEC, would you be able to freely elect, remove or otherwise hold your town union officials accountable to your townspeople?
“the Governors should come together, put money together from their budget and start building a second Niger Bridge. Start dredging the River Niger at Onitsha. Start developing the dry port at Abia.”
But they can’t because the ports (# 36d), River Niger (# 36b), trunk roads (# 11), are all on the Exclusive Legislative List
“Put their money together and elevate Enugu Airport to a level HIGHER than Lagos or Abuja airport. Things like that. Developing the Owerri Airport to a full international cargo airport.”
But they can’t because of (#3):
- Aviation, including airports, the safety of aircraft and carriage of passengers and goods by air.
“Quality educational institutions are lacking in the East even though we constantly produce the highest number of applicants to universities. Let us build more by collaboration with our foreign diaspora. They’re the best in many parts of the world. Let’s harness this advantage.”
But you can’t because of (# 60e):
- The establishment and regulation of authorities for the Federation or any part thereof –
(e) To prescribe minimum standards of education at all levels.
It prevents you from setting educational standards that would create quality educational institutions of any kind.
“We need a world class Stock Exchange in Ala-Igbo. We can achieve that without the Federal government because we own trading.”
But you can’t set up any because a stock exchange engages in trade and commerce, and a state government can’t engage in or regulate trade and commerce because of (# 62):
- Trade and commerce, and in particular –
So, a state can’t register, let alone operate a stock exchange.
Furthermore, the following are on the Exclusive Legislative List, (#60 a, b, c, d, e, f) and prohibit many crucial things:
(a) trade and commerce between Nigeria and other countries including import of commodities into and export of commodities from Nigeria, and trade and commerce between the states;
(b) establishment of a purchasing authority with power to acquire for export or sale in world markets such agricultural produce as may be designated by the National Assembly;
(c) inspection of produce to be exported from Nigeria and the enforcement of grades and standards of quality in respect of produce so inspected;
(d) establishment of a body to prescribe and enforce standards of goods and commodities offered for sale;
(e) control of the prices of goods and commodities designated by the National Assembly as essential goods or commodities; and
(f) registration of business names.
(a) says you can’t conduct interstate or international trade;
(b) says you can’t establish Marketing Boards—the cash cows of the Eastern and Western regions in the 1950s and1960s;
(c) says you can’t inspect and enforce quality of produce: even if you had Marketing Boards, they can’t ensure the quality of the products you export.
(f) says you can’t even register businesses to engage in anything, any trade.
Do you own trading? No, you don’t! Wake up to the constitutional reality.
“What we want is for people to come and start investing in Ala-Igbo, from all over the world. They will do this massively if they see the political will and infrastructures being laid down in Ala-Igbo.”
Really? Then consider these realities:
Without permission of the Federal Parliament, in which your Caliphate enemy have given themselves a permanent majority, you can’t
Incorporate, regulate, wind up corporations (#32) or regulate capital issues (# 12) or Insurance (#33);
Build airports (# 3), build alter or maintain trunk roads (# 11), build or manage ports and port authorities (#36d);
Trade—whether internationally or interstate (# 62) or send out trade representatives to promote your exports (# 20);
Control your mines and mineral resources, (# 39) — you can’t even do geological surveys to find out what minerals you have in your land;
Organize your tourism industry because you can’t “identify, collect, preserve or generally look after ancient and historical monuments and records and archaeological sites” or establish museums, libraries etc. (# 60 b, c, d);
Prescribe minimum standards of education at any level (# 60e)—so you can’t raise the quality of your workforce;
Regulate labor relations, set minimum wage, regulate industrial relations and settle industrial disputes (# 34);
Maintain law and order in the streets using police (# 45), prisons (# 48), army, air force, navy (# 38);
Do any census or registration of births and deaths (#8) to enable you to determine your human resource base.
Now, if you can’t do any and all of the above necessary things, let’s see you do a Singapore, Taiwan, Bavaria, Catalonia, or California.
Please, let’s avoid the slap-dash crisis-pressure thinking for which emergency meetings are notorious.
And please, please, let’s encourage our naïve and lazy intellectuals to do their homework before going public with their vague ideas and fantasies.
original article is reproduced below:
Biafra Is a State of Being:
Until we have achieved that state of being, the desired geopolitical region remains at risk. So, we must pursue both tasks together.
And the State of Being is as follows:
We have to do as the Catalonians do in Spain.
When they realized that the Castelianos (Madrid) will never voluntarily or easily give them Independencia, the Catalonians (Barcelona) decided to turn inwards and develop their region Technologically, Economically and Infrastructurally – and now they are the economic powerhouse of Spain.
The same thing is with Bayern in Germany. When Germany was declaring itself as a nation, Bayern (Bavaria) had the choice to stay out and be a country on its own (like Austria did). Instead it opted to stay within a greater Germany and become its best part. Today Bavaria is the most technologically and economically powerful region in Germany – and it has the whole of Germany now as its primary and biggest market.
The same thing is with California in the USA.
It’s not only the biggest economy WITHIN the US, it’s also the 6th largest economy in the World!
However, this is only because it is within the US and can leverage on all the synergies that come with that, that it can be so powerful.
If it were suddenly to try to break away overnight to stand alone, as a competitor against the rest of the US, things would not be so easy.
Nigeria does not fear IPOB as it is. In fact, they WANT IPOB to challenge them, so they can militarily wage war on the Igbos.
IPOB at present is not the Biafra that Nigeria fears.
They fear the Biafra that becomes like Catalonia, like Bavaria, like California.
That’s the Biafra they fear.
So, they NEED this militant IPOB to give them an excuse to come and reduce Ala-Igbo to a wasteland again and turn back the hands of our clock once more to Zero, like they did in the last Civil War.
Even if we don’t want and don’t start any hostilities, they will use the slightest excuse or provocation or accident to send in their troops. Britain will support them and in the end, USA will establish a military base in Igbo Land, to keep the peace. And that is how we will become occupied territory.
We have to be smart and shift the battle to the field where we can win.
What I am saying is this: yes, we will continue to ask for Referendum, like Catalonia does in Spain, like Scotland does in Great Britain.
But it is not Referendum that will give us the Biafra we need. And of course, It is not guns that will give us Biafra, that we know.
As Igbos, we have to conquer our chronic INDIVIDUALISM – and we have to pool our wealth, intelligence and efforts together to turn Ala-Igbo into a First World region, right here and now. But this is the most difficult thing for us because we are individualists! It is easier to protest.
The second point is: Our Governors. As much as we don’t like them, we have to work on them and with them.
If IPOB mobilizes the people against the Governors, the same way it is mobilizing them against the Federal Govt, you will see how fast things will change.
What will the governors do? Start shooting their own people? If any governor does that, where will that governor run to hide from the people’s revenge? They have nowhere to hide. Your State is your home – so they MUST listen to the people. If the people are united, (and IPOB can unite the people because IPOB is very powerful), they MUST start DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY from EVERY elected official in the South East.
Demand that they invest in INFRASTRUCTURES. Roads and transportation. Potable water. Drainage systems. Housing. Health. Education. Tax breaks for small businesses. Regional economic integration. Constitute expert groups across every field from within and the diaspora to develop and advice on the framework for regional development.
Instead of going to Abuja, the Governors should come together, put money together from their budget and start building a second Niger Bridge. Start dredging the River Niger at Onitsha. Start developing the dry port at Abia. Start NOW and make it mandatory that EVERY South East governor prioritize regional integration. Taxes and tariffs for business MUST come down to encourage investors.
*Computer Village in Lagos is full of Igbos.
The governors and leadership should put their moneys together and build TECHNOLOGY TOWN in Aba. Follow up on Geometrics power project in Aba by Prof Barth Nnaji, with a view to completely electrifying Ala-Igbo.
Put their money together and elevate Enugu Airport to a level HIGHER than Lagos or Abuja airport.
Things like that. Developing the Owerri Airport to a full international cargo airport and take advantage of the central location of Owerri in the South East. Quality educational institutions are lacking in the East even though we constantly produce the highest number of applicants to universities. Let us build more by collaboration with our foreign diaspora. They’re the best in many parts of the world. Let’s harness this advantage.
We need a world class Stock Exchange in Ala-Igbo. We can achieve that without the Federal government because we own trading. Encourage our diaspora to work with the government to establish and run QUALITY WORLD-CLASS HEALTHCARE institutions in Ala-Igbo.
IPOB has already come up with a blueprint for an Igbo-wide democratic customary government, the people’s government, very republican in nature, and this is good. THIS IS POWER. Ironically, it might even be according to the Nigerian constitution. If peacefully achieved, this can be the leverage with which to control the elected executive and legislative levels, if Nigeria stays together. And if Nigeria falls apart, then automatically we already have a framework state in operation.
However, IPOB must win Igbo people over by championing their welfare with their own governors and officials. Threaten them with no re-election and criminal prosecution if they fail to serve their people. They must also encourage the training, standardization, integration and sharing of information by the different state security groups to stamp out crimes like robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, etc. We are Igbo. We are in the communities and we know those who are into crime. People MUST start explaining their sources of wealth. IPOB can utilize its huge following to ensure crime is wiped out and good governance is entrenched in the South East. Then IPOB and possibly Nnamdi Kanu, would ever be remembered kindly by history.
If we are doing things like all these, Arewa will not need to issue quit notice – NDIIGBO will come back in droves to build up Ala-Igbo.
Is it beyond the Igbo to venture into modern and very lucrative cattle rearing and be the leaders in all of Africa? Are we not known to come late into any venture and excel beyond those in it for centuries?
** The governors in Ala-Igbo should AS A MATTER OF URGENCY introduce RANCHING across Ala-Igbo for prospective and enterprising *IGBO CATTLE FARMERS, after which they will enact, implement and execute ANTI OPEN-GRAZING LAWS in their States, then call on all indigenes and States security groups to participate in monitoring its implementation.
This will empower all Igbos and we will rid ourselves of these Fulani herdsmen in no time.
This is a priority. Every passing day is too much.
Ekiti State did it.
Benue State has done it.
It’s not impossible.
Why cannot the states of the Southeast ALL do it as ONE Anti Grazing Law? This will shake the Nigerian Govt more than asking for a referendum.
IPOB has power. If they use it wisely they can bring about tremendous change in Ala-Igbo without a single bloodshed. They are uniquely positioned by God at this period in time to use their massive following and break the individualistic Igbo trait to bring about change that will positively shape Igbo history for generations. If they misuse it by going the route of war, that didn’t work decades ago, then it would be a great loss indeed.
If Nigeria stays together, Ala-Igbo can become the most advanced region of Nigeria if we START NOW.
If Nigeria breaks up, we must be ready to survive on our own. And at this moment, we are not yet ready. This is where we need to put our eyes into. Because the ball is already rolling.
What we want is for people to come and start investing in Ala-Igbo, from all over the world. They will do this massively if they see the political will and infrastructures being laid down in Ala-Igbo.
If that happens, everybody will protect Igbo land. Biafra will grow from within. Let Nnamdi Kanu, all Igbo leaders and thinkers read this and run with it.
**I’m sending this to you, so you can spread it to Ndigbo who are amongst your contacts so that this consciousness can spread and be built on. *Let’s develop Ala-Igbo from within.
Ka Chi Ukwu no n’Igwe n’edu anyi n’Uwa gozie okwu a ka o wee mee. Yameenu.