Uche Mefor, Asari Dokubo establishes Biafra Defacto Customary Government

Kinsmen of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, elders and youths from the Niger Delta have distanced themselves from the declaration of Biafra by ex-agitator Alhaji Asari Dokubo. The Federal Government described Dokubo’s formation of Biafra Customary Government as a “theatre of the absurd by a joker seeking attention’’. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on the development in Lagos yesterday, Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will not be distracted by the absurdity. “I am sure you have heard of the theatre of the absurd, that is the best way I can describe it. If Asari Dokubo wants to form and run a fathom government, I think he is free to do so. “This administration will not be distracted because we still have a lot to do. We are not ready to give any attention or time to a joker like Dokubo who is just looking for attention. “We will just take it as one of these entertainment things. The beauty about Nigeria is that it is never a dull country, you must have one thing or the other to entertain you,’’ he said. The kinsmen of Wike under the auspices of the Ikwerre Peoples Congress (IPC) said Asari’s proclamation was an abuse of his fundamental human rights, describing his inclusion of Ikwere and the Niger Delta as part of Biafra as vexatious. The convener, IPC, Livingstone Wechie, said: “For the records, Ikwerre is an independent ethnic nation in Nigeria with a global spread and Ikwerre are not subservient to any other ethnic block whatsoever and under any guise. This is in respecting the status of Ikwerre as one of the largest ethnic nationalities in Nigeria on record undisputed. “Therefore, Ikwerre People’s Congress in its right along with other credible sociocultural organisations in Ikwerre nation are the only bodies with the legitimate authority to make representations and speak on behalf of the Ikwerre nation and her people on issues that affect our interest. “On this note, we state categorically that although Asari’s forebearers owe their ancestry to Ikwerre nation, and whereas Asari is a Niger Delta son with his fundamental rights to his identity and affinities, he does not have the right, authority, permission and or legitimacy to speak on behalf of the Ikwerre nation or to speak solely for the Niger Delta under any guise either by himself or through his cronies or agents. “No doubt we have disputation and aspirations in pursuit of the respect and demand for self-determination over our lands and resources including political rights as a people in the Lower Niger and the Niger Delta in particular which aspirations we share with our neighbours and ethnic counterparts, no position, negotiation or consultations will be made over the Ikwerre nation without our voluntary consent and mandate. “Ikwerre is too big for that foul play and this is trite knowledge. This view is sacred and undoubtedly includes the rest of the Niger Delta because nobody including Asari Dokubo can impose his personal Will or agenda on any ethnic block in our region. Therefore we ask that the Ikwerre nation be left out of Asari’s diatribe”. Also, the Southsouth Elders’ Forum (SEF) said the zone believed in one Nigeria and would not be part of Asari’s Biafra. Its Coordinator, Sarah Igbe, said the Niger Delta, including the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), were not part of any secessionist agenda Igbe, who is a member of the Board of Trustees, PANDEF, said they were only agitating for restructuring to ensure fiscal federalism that would allow each region to control its resources. He said: “Asari has the right to his opinion. But so far as I know the Southsouth region believes in Nigeria. We believe in one Nigeria and we don’t think we should talk of Biafra despite all the injustices against the former Eastern Region. “We are talking about restructuring. The Southsouth and PANDEF and the elders’ forum believe in the restructuring of this country in such a manner that every part of the country will be committed to the development of the country. That is where we stand. “We don’t believe in breaking from Nigeria. We should go back to the 1960 Constitution where we had our resources and we could talk of fiscal federalism. That is what we are interested in. We are not interested in anything less. We need fiscal federalism as applied in the United States of America and other democratic society.” Also, the Ibibio Youth Council (IYC), the youth wing of the largest ethnic group in Akwa Ibom, has said no part of the state would ever belong to Biafra. The President of the IYC, Mr. Imoh Okoko, declared as unfortunate and misguided the statement credited to Dokubo that Akwa Ibom was a Biafran entity. Imoh said historical records did not link any ethnic group namely Ibibio, Annang and Oro to Biafra and that the state would resist any attempt to annex any part of Akwa Ibom to Biafra. He said: ‘’We are not part of Biafra and will never be. Anybody is free to declare a Biafra Republic but in Akwa Ibom are not part of it. But I must advise that no matter how bad the country is it is not right to declare a Biafra Republic. ‘’We will not support the cause of Biafra. I want to state very clearly and assuredly that the Biafra dream will never be actualized. It is not possible. ‘’The people fighting for Biafra are not genuine. There are so many groups apart from IPOB and MASSOB which agitating for Biafra. They have a divided house so can’t achieve their aim.’’ A former President of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Eric Omare, said though Dokuboh was entitled to his opinion, the majority of Ijaw people did not share the same belief. “If there is any reason for the break-up of Nigeria, the Ijaw will want to be an independent nation not part of Biafra”, he said adding that Asari’s moves emphasised the need for all stakeholders to hold a roundtable on the future of the country.” An Ijaw cultural and religious group, the Order of Egbesu Brotherhood, also said the Ijaws were not Biafrans. The Coordinator of the group, Apostle Bodmas Prince Kemepadei, said though the Ijaws were not against Biafra agitations, they were not Biafrans. He said the Ijaw had its own course and in no distant time it would come to bear. Kemepadei said the Ijaw were free people and their lands would never be a conquered territory. The Egbesu coordinator said: “As a traditional religious body of Ijaw nation, we owe our ancestors and the entire Ijaw people a duty to protect its territory. “We would not allow any of our lands to be annexed into Biafra territory or allow our people to be subjugated to second slavery. “We respect Asari Dokubo as a leader, but his purported declaration of Ijaw land into his proposed Biafra is his mere opinion that exists only on the faces of newspapers and not the resolve of our people.”

Former Deputy leader of Indigenous People of Biafra Uche Okafor Mefor and Alhaji Asari Dokubo has established The Biafra Defacto Customary Government.

The Government which was launched by Asari Dokubo who is the Chairman of the Government Implementation Committee in a live Video broadcast made series of Appointments and conferred the Secretary of Information and communication to Uche Mefor.

The Statement/ Transcript of the Address by Asari Dokubo reads:

Fellow Biafrans,

Today marks a great epoch in our history, an history that have been chequered with pains, sweat and our blood. We went through three years of gruesome genocide. We came out of it and became a people that have no direction as to where we belong to.

Are we still Biafrans or we are Nigerians?

Gowon proclaimed ‘No, Victor nor vanquished’ but yet he created 12 States which before the war Nigeria had four regions—-the western region, the midwestern region, the Eastern region and the Northern region and the Lagos special territory.

In the creation of 12 states, we had a preponderance increase in the number of administrative units contributed nothing to the existence of the entity Nigeria, Six States in the North and the three regions of the south had Six States including the Lagos special area.

The resources of the so-called Federation of Nigeria were confiscated and taken over by those who have now become the new masters of Nigeria.

Even though as Biafrans we lost a war, all others also lost the war.The people of the western region lost the war, the people of Lagos lost the war, the people of the midwestern region also lost this war.

There has been uprising in various part of Biafra. The Ogoni revolt that led to the death of Ken Saro Wiwa and others and the not ending Ijaw revolt against the occupation of the Nigerian State and confiscation of our resources.

We as a people have resolved that as Biafrans, it is time for us to take our destiny in our hands. It is time to take our destiny on our hands and bring freedom to ourselves and our children and the generations of Biafrans yet unborn.

My comrades, how long will they tell us that they must forcefully enter our land and move their animals? How long will they tell us that the acceptable legal principles of ‘Cujus Est Solum Ejus Usque Ad Coelum’ (he who owns the land, owns all that is in the land, above the land or below the land) does not apply in our case? How long will Zamfara have the right to mine our gold and other solid mineral resources and we will not have same right to do so? How long will our creek, stream, water, riverlets belong to the omnibus Nigerian State that we have no right to all these resources, but they belong to the Nigerian state? How long will Alamesiya be convicted but an Atiku cannot be convicted? How long will a James Ibori be convicted but an Halu and El-Rufai cannot be convicted? How long will money belonging to the people of Delta State, 6.2 million pounds be taken, confiscated and spent in constructing road from Abuja to Kano,in constructing roads from Lagos to Ibadan? These are not Uche Mefor’s doing, these are not caused by Dokubo-Asari.

It does not affect us alone. It affects every one of us. Fellow Biafrans, let us ask ourselves this question, simple question:
Are you happy with Nigeria? Are you sure that you are satisfied with the life we are living? I am not satisfied with this life that I am living. I cannot play a second fiddle to anybody. I am Mujahid Abuakiri Dokubo-Asari, Alabo Edi Abali of Kalabari. I cannot be anything less. Will you want to be something less than what you are?

A lot of people will after today make an analysis of this speech and come out and talk. Why would Uzor Kalu go to prison when people who are Governors at the same time with him like Kwankwaso are not in prison. They did not steal but we believe that Uzor Kalu stole. This is the inequities of the system in which we find ourselves.

One of the divine books says, “I see, I see, I see slave riding on horseback and Masters walking on foot. This happening described our situation as a people. All over the world Biafrans have projected the image of the black race but in our home, we are nobody.

In our home, we are now third fiddle. We are mere appendages to Nigeria. It is time we cut ourselves loose. This has formed the decision, in accepting this position, this Trust. I never expected it from all our brothers and sisters across the globe who gather together and said, “come and lead”.

I hesitated a little but I thank God that it is time for us to do our duty and our service to motherland. I have accepted this role. I have dedicated my life hundred percent to play this role.

I am not your leader. I am not your master. I am one of you. There are many of you out there who are far better than me, who are more entitled to this position that myself, who are more intelligent than me, who are more wiser and have traveled and globe trotted far far more than me that you saw in me some qualities that qualify me to even come near this office. I
appreciate you.

But I want to say that in this movement, many of us might not reach the Promised Land. The enemy is ever ready to bear his fangs and claws. But by the grace of God, for every pharaoh God created a Moses, for every Goliath,God created a David.

As we go through this period of uncertainty, this period of upheavals, by the grace of God will come out on top amidst.

My First act today in taking this position is to name those who would be on the driver’s seat to navigate through this period of Tempest, this period of uncertainty with me.

I want to call on our brother, George Onyibe to come on board to join as the secretary of the de facto customary government of the state of Biafra. He will take care of the administrative, day-to-day administration of the Biafran State.

I also call on our brother Uche Mefor not to consider this office as too small for him, to come up and accept as the head of information of this new government. He shall be the Secretary of Information and communication.

I also call on our brother Emeka Emeka Esiri to take care of the legal needs of this nascent government.

My brothers and sisters, the four of us will kick start the process. Others would come on board. We want volunteers who are committed, we want volunteers because there is nothing anywhere. We are the people who have volunteered to salvage ourselves first and salvage the rest of us.

I also call on all Biafrans in the various provinces of the Biafran Nation: Aba province, Abakaliki province, Anang province, Awka province, calabar province, Degema province, Eket province, Enugu province, Nsukka province, Ogoja province, Oji
River province, Okigwe province, Onitsha province, Opobo province, Orlu province, Owerri province, Owerri province, Portharcourt province, Umuahia province, Uyo and Yenogoa. We’re going to proceed to set up provincial structures of government starting with provincial assemblies and provisional governance and administrators. We want volunteers to come out from all the twenty legally created provinces of the Biafran Nation.

We proceeded to say that we know that we have brothers outside who itchy and eager to join the train of freedom. Our brothers and sisters in Western Ijaw, our brothers and sisters in Isoko,our brothers and sisters in Anioma and Ndokwa. We call on all of them that we are not going to leave them behind, but we want to do what is legal first and foremost that want
you to join us in this struggle for freedom.

Let nobody, let nobody be mistaking that a Biafran will be worse than Nigerian. There is nothing that will be worse than what we are facing today Nigeria. What we are experiencing in Nigeria? What we are going through in Nigeria—-nothing.They will tell you Igbos will overrun you, IJaws will kill you.This divide and rule tactics will not work again with us.

You have been killing us. It is not Ijaw that is killing us, you have been killing us. It is not Igbos that are killing us. The Ogonis were killed, were they killed by Igbos. Were they killed by Ijaws? The people of Odi that were massacred and wiped out from the face of this earth. Were they killed by Igbos? Were they killed by Ogoni?

These your cheap lies and blackmails will never be accepted. Fellow Biafrans our government would concentrate on the following areas: Security, Paramount! Securing the lives and properties of our people. Two, we’re going to invest everything we have in science and technology to increase the scientific and technological discoveries, fabrications and making life easier for people through Science and Technology.

We’re going to pursue rigorously the education of our people.We’re going to make sure that we feed ourselves. You are all aware of the recent plot where they decided to stop food from the north. They failed woefully; they will continue to fail. The government of the Biafran States will look to make sure that we only eat what we can produce.

Nobody can stop us. Nobody can blockade us as they did in the first war. We’re not going to fight any war with anybody, we are walking to Freedom. We will not shoot any gun with them. They will prepare their weapon. They will have nobody to kill with their weapon. The health of our people would be Paramount to us. We’ll make sure that we use the best available to us for the health of our people. We’re not telling you we are going to build state- of-art hospitals, we’re going to build heavens down to earth, but there are ways the health of our people can be taken care of. If you had ever visited Cuba you will know why these medicals…

The problem that goes on in the world, the pandemic and so on, Cuba had not been in the news because they have an effective medical system. We’re going to put in place cheap, but very effective medical institutions that would take care of the health need of all our people.

Thank you and God bless you.

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