For couple of weeks now, there has been a spate of protests in the South- Eastern part of the country by some members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, over the continued detention of the Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and the demand for secession of Biafra state from Nigeria. Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, speaking recently with Channels TV asked the Federal Government to apply diplomacy in dealing with the issue of Biafra. In lieu of this, INFORMATION NIGERIA has put together five things the Federal government must do, to ensure this issue does not get out of hand…
According to Soyinka, Biafra can not be defeated because “Once an idea has taken off, you may defeat those behind it in a war but that does not mean the end of the idea.” Therefore the FG should consider these methods:
Dialogue: The government must have a talk with these aggrieved citizens, know the reasons for their agitations and come up with ways of settling such grievances. As Soyinka said “Let’s not take this position of ‘don’t even talk about it’, ‘under my watch this will never happen’, don’t say things like that. Go into that environment and ask ‘what is it that we can do to make you happy and feel part of this entity?’
Dealing decisively with Issues: Neglect and marginalization of the Biafran people have been raised as part of the reasons for their protest. The federal government should set up a committee that would look thoroughly into these issues with the aim of bringing lasting resolve to the problem.
Referendum: There has been suggestions by some people that a referendum be carried out, i.e. everyone of voting age is allowed to vote on the matter of whether they want to stay or go.
Proper Understudy: Some people have argued that the pro-Biafra movement is politically motivated to thwart the effort of the Buhari-led administration, just like what happened with Boko Haram under Goodluck Jonathan. This is enough reason for the Federal Government to take pains to carry out its study, to find out the undertone to the matter and deal with it tactically.
Genuineness: Lastly, there has to be seriousness and sincerity on the part of the government in handling this issue to ensure things are sorted out for good.
Just like Soyinka said, when talks on restructuring Nigeria are carried out properly, no one would want to leave. Don’t you agree???