The Ohaneze Restructuring Summit
By Charles Ogbu
20th May 2018
As OHANEZE NDIGBO is set to hold a Restructuring Summit tomorrow, the 21st day of May 2018 in Awka amidst opposition from IPOB, let me quickly put down my thought for the sake of posterity.
First, let me categorically state here that no Igbo group has the right to disrupt the activities of another Igbo group anywhere in Igbo land. It doesn't matter if the other group is holding a gathering in support of Buhari. There is no "but". There is no "if" here. We must never subject our "Egbe beru Ugo beru" value system to ridicule. Above all, we must never give our traducers the weapon with which to hang us.
Back to the matter,
I find the feud between the Restructuring group represented by Ohaneze and the Biafra group represented by IPOB as a needless distraction.
Restructuring and Biafra are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, both Concepts are natives of the same village who share the same fate and faith.
The feud between the two groups are caused by 2 main factors :
Without the Igbo youths which IPOB constitute very high percent of, Igbo leaders CAN NOT succeed because no leadership anywhere in the world has ever succeeded without being on the same page with most of the followers. Without these leaders, IPOB CAN NOT succeed because no people anywhere in the world has ever secured a referendum for secession without being on the same page with their leaders at the local, state and federal levels. This is why I believe we must swallow our ego and find a common ground or we will all fail.
Personally, I believe the ArewaNorth will never allow for a TRULY restructured Nigeria through the existing constitutional framework/institutions unless there is a reasonable threat of imminent break-up of the Nigerian state and this threat can easily come through the activities of the secessionist groups. I also believe they will not allow for outright secession especially now that they control all the instruments of State Coercion. This is not to say it is up to them to decide our fate. Not at all. If the different youth groups of all the Southern and Middle Belt leaders who went with the Ohaneze PG to deliver the restructuring speech at the NASS few weeks ago were to collectively put MAXIMUM pressure on the Caliphate controlled FG, Nigeria would have since been GENUINELY restructured.
As we''d recall, when the Political Economist turned IPOB leader (Kanu) was here commanding thousands on the street of Ala-igbo with his Biafra song, the Caliphate seemed a bit scared. They started holding restructuring talk and seminar all over the place. Even governor El-rufai went to Chatham house to talk restructuring. He came home to head the APC voodoo restructuring committee. But the moment the non-venomous snake disappeared Kanu, the govt Restructuring talk conducted a referendum and seceded into oblivion. This is why I think groups like IPOB remains very vital to make GENUINE restructuring a reality. Igbo leadership will do well not to dis-remember this.
In the likely event that we succeed in actualizing a TRULY restructured Nigeria which must come with a new constitution, not amended one, (This current 1999 law book is an Apertheid document) it will equally be a win-win for the Biafra group because then, each region/state will have its own constitution, its own Police Force and absolute control over her resources with a little percent contribution to keep the weak Central govt running. Under this arrangement, less than 60-70% of the things we expect in an independent Biafra Nation will be present coupled with full right to self-determine our future. With that, we stand a far better chance fighting to secede than we do now that we don't even have control over our Vigilante groups.
My point is, both the Restructurist and the Biafra group are not of a distant relation. One does not stop the other. Both groups can pursue their agitation without infringing on the right of the other. The two group need to understand this. This is of extreme importance.
So rather than threatening to disrupt the Ohaneze restructuring Summit, what we should be looking out for is the type of Restructuring Ohaneze is proposing on our behalf and their seriousness in pursuing it to fruition.