BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (4) – BREXIT OR BI-EXIT? – Chimoabi Eluigwe

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BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (4) – BREXIT or BI-EXIT? - Chimoabi Eluigwe

In a few days, the British will be deciding their future in a referendum. The outcome will decide if they remain in the EU or “out and into the world”. I believe that the REMAIN camp will win narrowly over the LEAVE camp. This is because I cannot attest to the current character of the Brit and how they respond to the avalanche of threats that have been directed against them from the world powers.

I expect that every Nigeria-weary Igbo person should root for Brexit because of what it would mean for us, in terms of antecedence. But whether they leave or remain in the EU, the very referendum exercise serves as a reference point to those who believe that all ethnicities in Nigeria should decide their fate in this geographical expression called Nigeria.

The following reasons are why I believe the 2 Bs – Britain & Biafra – should assume control of their destinies through referendums.

LIBERAL DEMOCRACY/ REPUBLICANISM

Britain:

One of the greatest gifts Britain has bestowed on humanity remains Parliamentary Democracy. From the Magna Carta to the King James Bible, the belief in the dignity of the individual with respect to the State has been part of being British. The gradual transfer of power from the throne to the common man was unprecedented in human history and has served as a model and rallying point for countless would be democracies all over the world.

That a nation with such rich history in democratic governance can gradually cede power to an undemocratic EU in Brussels ought to be worrisome to all lovers of Britain and democracy. This reason is sufficient, if none other exists, for a resounding BREXIT.

Biafra:

One may argue that since 1999, Nigeria has been a democratic nation. This farce is only sustained when democracy is equated to elections. According to Fareed Zakaria, there are different forms of democracies, namely – liberal and illiberal democracies. Liberal democracies are nations with a cultural predisposition to upholding the rule of law, the dignity of the individual and the sanctity of his right to determine the course of his life.

Elections are not necessarily required for a nation to be liberal, although liberalism would eventually lead to constitutional and electoral democracy. The monarchies of Britain, Denmark, Holland etc. are liberal, constitutional democracies. Iran is a democracy but clearly an illiberal one. Turkey and Nigeria are fast losing any pretense to liberalism and its indispensable freedoms, even though elections still hold.

Like the British, the Igbo is culturally democratic and fantastically liberal by historical standards. A history of resisting monarchies makes him averse to any political arrangement where he cannot determine his future. Less liberal on-lookers confuse his predilection for debates with his fellow Igbo as a lack of unity but fail to see that in a sovereign context, the Biafran parliament may be the most lively and productive in the world.

SEE ALSO: BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (3)
BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (2)
BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (1)

This is because to the Igbo, the superior argument should win. Whether in the family, community or nation – MERIT ought to be nonnegotiable. This explains his pre-War dominance in the Nigerian structures of influence – economic, military, educational etc. And like Ben Bruce noted recently, it seems to be leading to another 1960s Redux. Therefore, can the quest for MERIT lead to a quest for BI-EXIT?

FEDERAL OUTFLOWS

Britain:

The Leave campaign has suggested that Britain sends about 350m pounds weekly to the EU. This figure has been disputed and placed at about 190m pounds because the EU spends the difference in Britain.

But the point is that the British parliament loses control of such humongous amount and the Leave campaign wants to regain control over such money. They claim that that amount can be spent beefing up the NHS or other critical social and physical infrastructure. I believe that makes enough sense for a BREXIT.

Biafra:

When the 5 SE states and Igbo Delta, Rivers etc. are considered, the amount of money that goes to the federal government is huge. But it gets hugely humongous when we factor in the forfeited revenue due to the constitutional theft legally referred to as the Exclusive List. These are aspects of the economy like mineral resources, railways, electricity etc. that ONLY the federal government can make decisions about. The states (or regions) cannot exploit them to better the lives of their citizens.

My conservative estimates suggest that the Igbo speaking landmass loses a net $30 BILLION annually due to the federal grab of its resources – in monetary and proprietary terms. Like the Brexit campaign is suggesting, a sovereign Biafra will rapidly accelerate the development of its infrastructure through investing this amount at home.

Combining such revenue potential with the potential to issue government securities like bonds etc., will be explosive. This is based on the fact that the Igbo probably have the highest amount of individuals with investable capital in Nigeria, thus becoming a pool for raising funds for the new nation. Knowing that Biafra (and other nationalities on Nigeria) can go from 3rd world to 1st within 20 years of rapid development should lead to considerations of a BI-EXIT.

TRADE AND GLOBAL OUTLOOK

Britain:

Since the 17th Century, the tiny island of Britain has taken on the world . . . and won big time! After the Dutch became the first truly global economic players, the British came on the scene equipped with an entrepreneurial disposition that saw them beat the Dutch and others everywhere. Whether in America (New Amsterdam became New York), South Africa or India, British merchants and industry reigned supreme.

With such perspective, it feels insulting to the Brit to suggest that without the EU Britain is finished economically. The EU has a great market of over 500 million people and access to it is important for continued prosperity. But to insinuate that the 5th largest economy in the world with a merchant past cannot come up with enough trade deals with other parts of the world as well as EU itself is simply scare-mongering.

Britain can thrive within the EU or outside of it (maybe even better outside of its stiffening rules), so a Brexit is still the right call to make.

Biafra:

The Igbo is a commercial being and is often stereotypically referred to as a TRADER. Since the amalgamation in 1914 (and even much earlier), he could be found all over Nigeria doing business. He has thrived immensely through trade and his interactions with multiple cultures give him a global outlook and a quest for peace and stability.

He can be found globally engaging with the world economically as equals. Nigeria provides him a channel for entrepreneurial expression with a market of over 100 million. Contrary to fear-mongers, this will not change even after a referendum driven secession.

Biafra will establish trade pacts with every country and economic bloc on earth because in a fiercely competitive climate, few countries will pass up access to a market of about 50 million people who can serve as a portal to the rest of Africa.

IMMIGRATION/TERRORISM

Britain:

Nigel Farage of UKIP has evoked angst and fury with his “Breaking Point” poster which shows lots of Syrians walking across Europe as refugees. While fear is an inferior tool to rally people to action, compared to hope, no sensible person can truly dispute the fact that Europe is embarking on cultural suicide of historic proportions with its immigrations mess.

It is only a matter of time. Britain will take a hit, terror-wise. You cannot be a sovereign nation and not control who comes in and out of your borders, check out Brussels and Paris. National borders exist to impede the flow of evil like Radical Islamic Terrorism. This is more than enough reason to run away from the EU and vote Brexit.

Biafra:

Nigeria is a hotbed of Islamist terrorism. Though it began in the impoverished North East and West, it has been spreading South through the activities of the Fulani Herdsmen and co. As has been proven time and again, the police force cannot resolve the problem or guard against it.

It takes a militarized border around the Biafran heartland to assure its citizens of sustainable security. When the soldiers who ought to protect Igbos embark on genocidal scale killings of the same people, violation of their human rights and general harassments, then it’s time to consider a BI-EXIT.

COURAGE

Britain:

If I were British, one reason I’d most likely vote for Brexit is to simply damn to global fear-mongers and nay-sayers. The amount of threats and dire, exaggerated predictions directed at the British people from the global elite has been insane. It is one reason the Brits are saying “To hell with the experts!”.

From Barack Obama, the Chinese, IMF, global banks to pretty much everyone with a platform (including John Oliver) has threatened Britain about leaving the EU. Choosing to heed their irresponsible fear-mongering will send the wrong message to the EU and other peoples of the world hoping to change the status quo in their respective spheres. Brexit will encourage others take their destinies in their own hands.

Biafra:

Any suggestion that breaking up the country into smaller, more manageable entities is better for the Nigerian citizen is often met with threats of violence, economic woe and internecine feud among the Igbo. It is ignorance of the Igbo that make such people harp on such.

The Igbo is stubborn and brave. The more you tell him it can’t be done, the more he is determined to see it done. The greatest fuel for pro-Biafran sentiments are the assertions that it is impossible to achieve. That is the turf of the Igbo!

And if he could rise from the ashes of genocide and systemic exclusion from the economic levers of the Nigerian state, into the dominance he now enjoys in education, commerce, the arts, entertainment, finance, law, international politics etc., you’d be foolish to bet against him.

So should we say – BREXIT to the British and BI-EXIT to the Biafrans? OUT AND INTO THE WORLD!

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