Written by Mazi Onyebuchi Eze
For Family Writers Press
History was once again made today being Thursday 28th June 2018, as the Biafra Indigenous Council of Elders (BICOE) held it's Summit Akwa-Ibom State, Biafraland. Few weeks back, a body of elders drawn evenly from across all the tribes within the Biafra territory named BIAFRA INDIGENOUS COUNCIL OF ELDERS, emerged as a legitimate body, representing the people of Biafra in their capacities. The tribes comprise of: Urhobo, Itsekiri, Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Igala, Idoma, Ejegham, Yala, Ogoni, Ogoni, Ijaw, amongst others. The Elders Council has the mandate of Biafrans to engage any relevant government agency/organization outside Biafraland on issues relating to Biafra independence. It should be clearly stated that socio-cultural organisations like Ohaneze Ndigbo and PANDEF only represent individual tribes while BICOE wholesomely represents the interests of the entire Biafraland.
In the Summit, the elders placed before all Biafran traditional rulers, Nigerian government and the general public, very definitive demands which are:
(1) That all the traditional rulers should come together, synergize and present a common front to compel the Nigerian government to accord respect to traditional institutions within Biafraland, ordering the Nigerian army to release without further delay, His Royal
Majesty (HRM) Eze Israel Okwu-Kanu of Isiama, Afara-ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, his wife and crowned Prince, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. They have been held incommunicado in secretive custody by the Nigerian army since 14th September 2017, on the murderous invasion of their palace/residence. The Biafra Indigenous Council of Elders (BICOE), categorically stated that in the event of failure by the Biafran traditional rulers to exert the required pressure for their release, they should be ready for the dire consequences attached to the desecration of the Biafran traditional institution.
(2) That the Nigerian government should consciously lend support to the upcoming Biafra referendum. This they further maintained, is the only acceptable available option in resolving the overwhelming Biafra restoration question. The chairman of the BICOE, Ogbueshi Chukwuma Nwajei, who led other representatives from Anioma tribe in Delta State, made it clear to the Nigerian government that there exists no other better way to resolve secessionist issues globally, besides taking the path of peaceful referendum. He cited Britain as an example of a country that used this mechanism to settle two damning disputes within the last five years.
The British applied this option in resolving the Scottish independence demand and as well, her exit from the European Union (EU). Ogbueshi Chukwuma Nwajei wondered why issues that are practically handled elsewhere in the world, should be termed as a call for war in Nigeria. All the BICOE representatives thereby unanimously encouraged all the Biafran people residing within Biafraland, to unite, troop out and massively vote for the Independence of Biafra on the referendum date. According to the deputy chairman of the Elders Council, Akparawa Etim Okon Inwang who led the representatives of Ibibio and Annang elders to the Summit, emphasized that Akwa-Ibom people are readily prepared for the referendum. He appreciated Biafrans for their emergence as the authentic voice of the people.
In his submission, the Secretary of the Council, High Chief Enemowie Fubara Godswill Perekeme who equally led the representatives of Ijaw elders to the Summit, stated that the Ijaws massive compliance with the last "Sit-At-Home" directive of the IPOB leadership on the 30th of May 2018, is an attestation that proved the Nigerian media wrong, over the erroneous narratives that the Ijaws are not in support of Biafra. He assured that on behalf of Ijaw elders, all the villages within the Ijaw nation are Biafrans and are solidly behind the Biafra restoration effort. He stated that they
are prepared for the upcoming referendum. The High Chief further maintained that himself and his fellow elders were the selected representatives of the Ijaw people and fully enjoy the support of all their stakeholders in being part of the Biafra Indigenous Council of Elders. He reiterated that the Ijaws are 100% ready for the Biafra referendum.
The Biafra Indigenous Council of Elders diligently touched on other salient issues concerning Biafraland. The body rejected in most strongest terms, anything associated with the Nigeria restructuring agenda, the DSS sponsored coalition of the so-called Pro-Biafra groups and the Nigerian government's proposed cattle ranching within Biafraland. They pointedly stated their readiness to employ diplomatic means in reaching out to the world leaders as Biafra Indigenous Council of Elders, with concrete, detailed requests for their unfettered support for the Biafra referendum. The elders exceptionally appreciated the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) worldwide, as ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and her media teams for voluntarily and conscientiously, disseminating the information contained in their maiden Summit few weeks ago. They assured the IPOB of their continuous support in the struggle for the total restoration of the sovereign nation of Biafra.