The leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra(IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and his Deputy, Uche Mefor, are currently in the USA attending to some engagements. Voice Of America interviewed Nnamdi Kanu, below are the excerpts of the interview:
VOA: You said you want to free your people, what does this mean?
Kanu: It means the total and unequivocal extrication of the Biafran people from the British contraption known as Nigeria
VOA: The authorities in Nigeria have said that the separation of Nigeria is unwarranted and will not be entertained in any circumstances, do you think your objective is achievable?
Kanu: It is achievable because you would expect any backward banana Republic, which Nigeria has become, to speak in those terms. But they forget that they are the instigator of separation. They are the ones making the polity ungovernable, they are going about killing, pillaging and sacking villages. They are the ones that have taken nepotism to a new level, they run Nigeria as if was their private family business. They are the ones that arm the terrorist groups in Nigeria to go about killing people and we will not fold our arms and let that continue
VOA: Recently in the elections in Nigeria, you were said to have supported a political party. Doesn’t that undermine your clamour for independent state of Biafra?
Kanu: firstly, we are democrats. Secondly, we did not support any political party. What we said is that the APC political party doesnt represent the yearnings of our people. We also wanted to show we are flexible. We also listened to our elders who pleaded with us to lift the boycott. Voting in Nigeria is shambolic and an exercise in futility. The peoples vote dont count. I’m happy you were there to observe the elections. Voting in Nigeria is a wasted effort because the results are already predetermined
VOA: Does your cause entail engaging with government or does it include picking up arms to fight the authorities?
Kanu: We are adverse to picking up arms, we are not interested in armed struggle. We believe that this struggle will be won ideologically and intellectually. There will be no recourse to armed conflict. In terms of dialogue, we are open to discussions but one thing is certain, we will never stop until we achieve Biafra
VOA: What does the state of Biafra mean to its inhabitants?
Kanu: It is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. What we have seen since the creation of Nigeria is a new level of backwardness and regression. Not even those who fought for Nigerias independence from the British could have envisaged that Nigeria would eventually become what it is. We have what I call primitivity in governance.
All the tenets of democracy have been destroyed. There is a vicious clamp down on freedom of speech and expression.
VOA: Some people say that what you are advocating for puts Igbo people in danger, both in Nigeria and abroad
Kanu: Freedom is very expensive. We are here in the USA where people fought and died to sustain what is arguably the most civilised nation on Earth. We recognise the sacrifices people have made. If at the end of the day, there is only one Biafran man and woman left, we will make do with that
VOA: Recently some Monarchs petitioned the Government to allow you come back and give your mother a befitting burial. What is your stance on that?
Kanu: My mother died as a result of the agitation for Biafra. I have not asked anyone to lobby for me to return to bury my mother. I am not interested in coming back to bury my mother if that will entail killings, disappearance and extra-judicial torture of our people. I will not do anything to jeopardize the lives of our people for the sake of burial. Whether I’m there or not, my mother will be buried.
VOA: Some of your critics say you are seeking the disintegration of Nigeria and this unacceptable because it questions the territorial integrity of Nigeria
Kanu: The question is who created Nigeria? Nigerians did not create Nigeria, the British did. We keep forgetting that Nigeria is just an artificial creation. There was nothing called Nigeria before the British came. What we are asking is to return as we were before the white man came. The name Nigeria does not mean anything. It is only a pet that you give a name and it will answer without question. By accepting that name Nigeria, what we are saying is that we are incapable of creating a civilised society by ourselves.
The only reason why people in Nigeria dont want Biafra to come is that they fear they might lose their access to Oil and Gas revenue