We the student body known as Biafran Students in Diaspora
(BSD) wish to take this opportunity to respond formally to the utterances
attributed to the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, an Igbo.
The popular Igbo saying says that it is important to make
haste and remove quickly a monkey’s hand which may be causing distraction when
it is dipped in to steal from the people’s teal. What this teaches us is that
in serious businesses such as the on-going campaign for Biafran independence
and self-determination, being quick to debunk falsehoods is essential,
especially when they are coming from Igbo individuals such as Onyeama.
In the business of people’s fundamental rights and their
freedoms, it can be dangerous to leave things to chance or allow careless
statements to slide. Therefore once it is noticed that some individuals are
bent on engaging in some kind of monkey business in order to cause distractions
and confuse the less informed members of the public, then it is on us as the
well-informed to act swiftly by responding to state the truth and the correct
position of things.
The need for haste is to nip in the bud any careless actions
and words like those of the recent minister’s “monkey hand” from being
misconstrued by the public as representing reality and the true opinion of Igbo
We hate to join issues with the minister in this matter but
we cannot help but try and clear some grey areas in his statements. We want to
state that the minister spoke as an individual when he said that the organizations,
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the
Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) do not represent the Igbo.
This is not true. Unlike the minister who as an individual
is serving the Nigerian government, not on an elected capacity but solely by
appointment, the mentioned groups and several others who are agitating for the
separation of the Igbo from the Nigerian union, actually represent the opinion
of the majority of Igbo people.
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Those who want Igbo or Biafra out of Nigeria make up over
85% of Igbo population. Perhaps, by the virtue of the minister’s appointment
and service to the Nigerian government he is blinded from seeing this fact.
Therefore it is our duty to let him understand the truth.
Igbo people, particularly the youth to whom the future
belongs have made an irreversible decision: Starting from May 29, 1966 (when
Nigerians began the genocidal murder of Igbo people) the Igbo rejected their
Nigerian citizenship forever. Presently we are a people whose land is under
foreign occupation by the Nigerian government but we are not cowed. We need to
remind all that though our land; Igbo land is under occupation by the Nigerian
government, it never stopped us from having our government in exile from which
Igbo people take their orders and owe their sovereign allegiance.
Biafra Government in Exile (BGIE) which has always carried
on its businesses from its base in Washington DC in the United States is the
continuity of the Biafran Government in Biafra land which ceased to operate its
businesses from the Homeland in January 1970.
Therefore, Geoffrey Onyeama and others like him who
represent Nigerian interests cannot rightly claim to be talking or acting on
behalf of the Igbo when they are not working for BGIE or any such recognized
Igbo/Biafra institutions. They can only claim to speak on their individual’s
capacity at any time until they switch allegiance.
It is important to reiterate here that at no time did Biafra
cease to exist since the state came into being on May 30, 1967. The terms that
the Biafran representatives reached with their Nigerian counterparts in January
1970 are clear: Biafrans agreed to cessation of hostilities to prevent the
total annihilation of our people as the enemy was bent on doing. Ever since
that cessation of hostilities, the enemy Nigeria has continued the illegal
occupation of our land against our will and in complete violation of our civil
We are using this opportunity to appeal to fellow students
in universities across the world to please join hands with us in working to
save a threatened people, the Igbo who are marked for extermination by the
intolerant Islamic state of Nigeria. This appeal goes to fellow Biafrans who
are studying in England, Scotland and any other countries all over the world,
please let’s join hands in solidarity to free a people who have suffered
genocides and other unprintable atrocities in the hands of Nigerians.
All lovers of freedom everywhere please unite with us and
together we can save endangered lives.
Remember freedom is everyone's right.
Signed on behalf of Biafran Students in Diaspora (BSD)Yahgozie
- News24 Nigeria
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