Rita Eberechukwu Anigbogu is the Director General of Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria(MOBIN). Anigbogu, who says that MOBIN is the political arm of the Biafran struggle, argues that Biafrans should actively participate in Nigerian politics since they are Nigerians at the moment.
Anigbogu incidentally, holds an appointment with Enugu State Government, walking the talk in political Biafran activism.
In this interview with Mobin Media, she explains how Biafrans celebrated the 2020 Biafra Heroes Day, the place of MOBIN in the current struggle for nationhood, and Nigeria.
She also speaks about the Asari-Dokubo/Nnamdi Kanu face off, as well as the future for Biafrans in Nigeria:
Today marks another memorial for Biafrans all over the world who have lost people to the war and other causes related to the war?
You and I know the story of Biafra, how give world powers came together against the tiny people of Biafra in 1967. When our leaders back then saw we were not accepted in the country, they decided that we should go our separate ways but Nigeria did not take it kindly. They fought us, they killed us, in every part of Nigeria.
They even brought the war back home to Biafraland, and they assassinated our people. So we decided that these heroes cannot be forgotten, and we keep keeping faith, that that which they sought, and fought for is still living in us. They are our heroes, their blood is still speaking, is still crying. That is why we remember them every 30th May. This year’s edition, because of the Covid 19 pandemic, we felt that it will be better we remember them indoors. So there are so many activities, like we started fasting and and praying since the beginning of this month.
Are you saying you have been fasting with the Muslims?
We are not fasting with the Muslims. They are fasting for a different purpose while we are fasting for our fallen heroes. So we fasted and prayed for our heroes to keep resting in peace, and we fasted and prayed that God should keep helping us, and keep preserving and sustaining us and keep encouraging us for us to continue in the struggle.
Because it is not over until it is over.
Last night some of us had candle night sessions in our respective homes, some in Emene Enugu here came together in their fives and tens, and they prayed together. But those of us who were unable to do that- of course you know there is curfew in Nigeria, we had to light candles in our respective homes, hung the flags, remember them. We did it, we have been doing it, and we will continue to do it.
Even if Nigeria refuse to recognize it, those of us who are remnant of Biafra will continue to remember them and pray for the repose of their souls.
Then there are our brothers and sisters who live abroad. They don’t have the kind of challenges that we have here. They also came together and prayed. In the United States, in Germany, in the diaspora, they came together. So many other Biafrans took to the social media, some had online Facebook discussions. Like Barrister Emeka Emekesiri, Chief Maxi Okwu, Tony Nnadi, Ohaneze Ndigbo President Nnia Nwodo, they were at BBC to discuss Biafra.
Then MOBIN Directors were also on MOBIN Media to discuss, and it was anchored by Zulu Ofoelue. We used the MOBIN Media handle on Facebook to reach out to the world.
That is how we celebrated the Biafra Heroes Day this year.
MOBIN has been working in the sidelines since it’s inception in 2017. What makes it unique and stand out as a Biafran organisation, that stands it out from other groups like Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB?
MOBIN is the political watchdog of the Biafrans. We are not like Nnamdi Kanu because we still believe in Nigeria. Believing in Nigeria I mean is that we are still in Nigeria. Though we are Biafran, but we are still in Nigeria. We have not gotten Biafra. Biafra existed for three years-1967 to 1970.
By 1970, it was pronounced that there was no victor, no vanquished. We came back to Nigeria which is a sovereign state. Biafra is a state in the making, but we are still in Nigeria, and we felt that in as a much as we are still in Nigeria, that we participate, we play part in everything that happens in Nigeria especially in the politics. For instance today, Buhari is the President. Whatever laws, whatever rules, whatever dictates, it covers everybody, be you Arewa, be you Oduduwa, be you Biafran. Because the constitution of Nigeria is still intact. We believe that Biafrans should participate in the politics and political structuring of Nigeria. MOBIN is the Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria and is a political movement. That’s why we said that we can be playing politics, and be part of governance while we are still part of Nigeria so that if by tomorrow there comes Biafra, of course there will be politics in Biafra. There is still going to be President, Governor, law makers, and others. If we don’t practice it now, by the time we get Biafra, it will be difficult for us to practice. Number two, we believe that we have the best administrators in Biafra. We can show Nigeria example. If for instance our own territory-Delta, South south states, South East and parts of Middle Belt, if we have core Biafran activists in leadership, of course we will do better than the core Nigerians, we will do better.
Are you saying that Biafrans will demonstrate better leadership through their leaders if they hold political power?
Of course. If we continue to run away frol politics the rogues, the never do wells, people who jut use politics for business will continue to rule over us and things will never get better. That is what MOBIN is all about, we want to bring in core Biafrans into the leadership of the Biafran people, even to lead Nigerians because at this time, we are still in Nigeria. To show them example.
We are not like Nnamdi Kanu’s version of IPOB who say that Nigeria is a zoo. But we say that Nigeria is not a zoo because Biafrans are still in Nigeria and Biaftans who are still in Nigeria are not animals. So if we are not animals, we cannot say that we humans are living in a zoo, because the zoo is where you keep animals. That is number one. Number two, we are not running away from the politics of Nigeria because we are still Nigerians. We still use Nigerian currency, passport, driver’s licence, and we still bear Nigerian citizens. So we should participate, we should partake, we should get ourselves involved in things that concern us, Nigeria concerns us, so we should get involved. That’s just the difference between us and Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB.
We have respect for our elders. We don’t castigate our elders. We don’t say our parents are witches, wizards, fools, if they are witches and wizards and are our parents, that means that as their children, we are little witches and wizards. Because our parents are not fools and not dullards, we cannot castigate them. These are still our parents that fought that war. If they were able to organise themselves and go into that war with Nigeria, just to protect our territory. If they did not go into that war, I don’t think we will still have a place we call Biafraland.
So we don’t castigate our parents like Nnamdi Kanu’s people.
Taking about Nnamdi Kanu and castigation of elders, how will you react to the current bickering between Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, and Alhaji Muhajeed Asari-Dokubo and Niger Delta Biafrans?
You remember that we were with Nnamdi Kanu before we left him. It was some of these things that we saw that made us to leave him. Asari-Dokubo is our brother, the same blood. He is a Biafran to the core. Nnamdi Kanu is a Biafran, he is our brother, there is no how in this struggle you would want to sideline some people. It’s not done anywhere. It’s like what Kanu said a few days ago, where he threatened that American-based Biafrans that if they refuse to pay 1 dollar each, that I’d Biafra is finally restored, they cannot come into Biafraland.
Asari-Dokubo has been fighting in his own way to liberate us, Nnamdi Kanu has been doing things in his own way too to liberate us, likewise Emeka Emekesiri, likewise Tony Nnadi. I see all of them as people who are working in one way or another to restore Biafra. No one has the monopoly of it all. Are you more intelligent than all others? Or is your father the owner of Biafra? Is Biafra a private enterprise? So Nnamdi has continued in this way, and if he does not stop, he will make more enemies for himself.
Of course you remember the roles Asari-Dokubo played when the Python Dance attacked his father’s house in Afara. But let me not go into details. Then you turn around and start castigating him. It’s not good, it’s unfair.
The world is not sure where it is heading at the moment. There is the apparent, imminent collapse of the economies, and governments are having serious challenges, especially in Nigeria. What will be your advise for Biafrans in view of all these things and the possible coming of Biafra?
Some of us are like Nostradamus who saw the future. Since 2011, we have been crying and we have been crying for our brothers and sisters to come home and develop Biafraland. There are those of them in diaspora who have the best factories and the best investments.
They left here, now that the economy is going the way it’s going, hunger will take our people. Let me tell you one thing they don’t know. The Hausa are busy going into massive agriculture, using state funds, our resources.
They are using Nigeria’s resources to equip their people in agriculture and they are moving in here en masse, they may even the little farming that our people are doing, unmechanized, their cows are destroying them, they are maiming our people.
In the near future, very soon, our people will depend on the Hausa for food and agricultural products. If our brothers and sisters, rich as they are all over the world, if they don’t come home now to invest here in Biafraland, if they don’t come now to try and make sure we retrieve our lands and territory from these Hausa Fulani cattle rearers, in the near future, they will not only cause havoc here, hunger will also destroy us. So my advice is that it’s still not too late. They should come home and invest in agriculture, industries and start engaging our youths, if not, there will be crises.
Any advice for them as regards political participation?
Yes, it’s because Buhari is the President, that is why he could use state funds to develop his area, the north. If our brothers and sisters come and fight for this power, they can still get it. So they can use it to do one or two things in the positive for our people. We should stop running away from the politics of Nigeria. We should be partakers, everything here is owned by all of us, why are my people running away? Why are they running away? They should come, it’s a game for numbers. If we keep running away from Nigerian politics, every other thing will elude us.