Professor of International law and jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode, has warned the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), on the agitation for Biafra, says he should go to war if only he is serious about Biafra.
Oyebode, who insisted that independence must be fought for and won, dared Nnamdi Kanu to confront the Nigerian military first, “then there’s question of recognition”.
He was reacting to demand by the IPOB leader, for referendum for South East before the forthcoming Anambra and 2019 elections.
Oyebode warned that Kanu was provoking the federal government and taking his luck too far.
“Nnamdi Kanu is an opportunist. People have said who put you to power? Who are you to speak for Ndigbo? I read something online where Anambra people said ‘count us out of your Biafra whatever, boycott of November 2017 Anambra governorship election’.
“What’s referendum, that Igbo should not vote? We are going to vote. You got away with sit at home protest but this time we are part of Nigeria or you want us to lose out or for soldiers to take over our state?.
“Why I said Nnamdi Kanu is being opportunistic is that the concept of self determination is a valid concept in colonial situations when you have the metropolitan power and the people subjugated by the colonial power.
“Self determination is to poll inhabitants of the colonized territory whether they want independence or they don’t. After independence, it is no longer a matter of self determination. It becomes one of right to development. Nigerians exercised their right of self determination on the 1st of October, 1960.
“So that has been met and in fact a distinguished professor of international law, my late friend Prof Orji Umezuruike, defended a PhD in Oxford on self determination. People should read. So after independence, the only way you bring change about is not by way of referendum.
“You have to change the facts on the ground militarily. You defeat the federal government militarily. So you have a new state like that of Bangladesh in 1971, like that of Eritrea in 1979, like that of South Sudan four years ago.
“So militarily, you have to confront the federal government and defeat them and then declare your independence. Then there’s question of recognition. So that’s the only way you change the boundaries in Africa.”