Emeka Emekesiri, (Barrister & Solicitor, Estate Surveyor & Valuer, Management Consultant and a Missionary Pastor) is the Chairman of the Biafran Project being championed by MOBIN (MOVEMENT OF BIAFRANS IN NIGERIA) under the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra.
In this interview with Mobin Media, Emekesiri outlines the reasons for the establishment of MOBIN, its importance to the Biafran struggle, and why it is strategically, the destination for Biafrans in the quest for national identity.
Why did you people establish MOBIN when there are so many other Biafran organisations? What are the aims and objects of MOBIN?
MOBIN is a political and civil rights movement of all the Indigenous People of Biafra who are the claimants in the on-going case between Biafra and Nigeria in the Federal High Court of Nigeria, now in the Court of Appeal, Enugu.
The aims and objectives of MOBIN are simple and clear. MOBIN is the political arm of the Biafran Struggle. All the Indigenous People of Biafra who believe in politics and diplomacy are constituted into the body called MOBIN.
MOBIN wants all the Biafrans to participate in politics and install hardcore Biafran activists in power to control our Territory. We have noted that most often the political leaders imposed on us are not our candidates. They are the stooges and agents of the northern and western political godfathers who do not act in our best interest. They are rigged into power by our political opponents.
We are now giving political education to the Biafran masses that have been deceived and misled. Their leaders told them not to participate in politics and census because they are Biafrans and not Nigerians. They still use the Nigerian Passports and Driving Licenses. Just imagine their foolishness! MOBIN has come to correct these mistakes and impart political education to the Biafran activists. Unless Nigeria disintegrates tomorrow by an act of God, we shall participate in politics and census. We shall politick in the interest of Biafra and take control of our Territory by political power.
How are you different from IPOB?
This question shows that you do not understand what IPOB means or stands for. IPOB is the acronym for Indigenous People of Biafra. It is the body of all the remnants of the Biafrans and their descendants who were not consumed in the war and not assimilated into other tribes. That is the name I coined in 2007 and published it in 2012 to describe the body of all the remnants of the Biafrans and their descendants. You can find this in my book, “Biafra or Nigerian Presidency- What the Ibos Want”, published in 2012 when the Organization was created under the Elders of Biafraland headed by the late HRM Hon Justice Eze Ozobu as Chairman, Dr Dozie Ikedife as Deputy Chairman and Brig Gen Joe Achuzia as the Secretary General . Yes, I created the body known as IPOB but placed it under the authority of the Elders. It is my brainchild. I am the vision bearer and originator of the Organisation. This is the body that sued Nigeria in the Federal High Court seeking to exercise their right to self-determination as guaranteed by law.
Perhaps, you are confusing IPOB with the cult group of gangsters led by Mr Nnamdi Kanu. He was ostracised by the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra on 12 May 2014 for the evils he committed against the Biafran Project. This is in the public domain as the Elders ensured that the Public Notice and Disclaimer were published to the whole world. He formed his own faction and initiates his members into the cult by oaths administered before some deities such as the Ibini Ukpabi shrine in Arochukwu. I have described Nnamdi Kanu in some of my previous publications as a thief of my intellectual property and an imposter.
Your question as to how we are different from Nnamdi Kanu’s group can be answered by showing how the original IPOB of the Elders operate. We operate by the rule of law and political diplomacy. The original IPOB operates a Customary Government known as the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra. The Customary Government is powered by MOBIN which organises the Biafrans in their Town Hall Meetings. We believe in the use of legal methodology consisting of the judicial process, political process and diplomatic process to achieve self-determination. We are legitimate. We are under the control of our Elders. We are not proscribed. We are operating by the rule of law. The organisation proscribed by the Nigerian Government is the faction of IPOB run by Nnamdi Kanu. The Nigerian Government did not proscribe the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra because the Customary Government is lawful just as the Sharia Government is lawful. Our website is at http://www.ipobgovernment.org and we can be contacted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you look closely to the name of our political movement, MOVEMENT OF BIAFRANS IN NIGERIA, you will notice that we describe ourselves as Biafrans in Nigeria. In other words, we are Biafrans living in Nigeria. We are Biafrans by indigenous identity and Nigerians by citizenship just like the Scots are Scottish by indigenous identity and British by citizenship. By the International Law promulgated by the United Nations in 2007 known as the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we have the right to maintain our indigenous identity within the country where we are citizens.
Do you collaborate with other Biafran Groups?
Yes, of course, MOBIN collaborates with any Biafran group that believes in our legal methodology and political diplomacy. Unfortunately, many Biafran Groups do not believe in the Nigerian Law and Politics and have advised their members not to participate in politics. Some said that unless the Nigerian Constitution is destroyed and removed they would never participate in politics because it is a fraudulent Constitution. Others said that they are Biafrans and not Nigerians and therefore would not participate in the Nigerian politics or census. MOBIN believes that these people who deny their Nigerian citizenship but still use the Nigerian Passports and Driving Licenses do not have correct political education.
What is the idea behind this Biafran Day Memorial Conference?
The idea behind the Biafran Memorial Day is not only to celebrate our dead and living heroes and heroines but also to keep our faith in Biafra alive. We want to keep the memory and history of Biafra alive from generation to generation until we gain independence from Nigeria. We must tell our stories. I hope you know that the Nigerian Government has removed HISTORY from the academic curriculum so that the story of Biafra would not be heard. They are wasting their time in trying to hide the truth. Thousands of books, articles and documentaries have been made on Biafra. In fact, the Books on Biafra may be described as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Chronicles of Biafra. The more the Nigerian Government suppresses the Biafran Story the more the Story is spread all over the world.
How do you see the situation of Ndigbo in Nigeria?
I see the Igbo people as modern slaves in Nigeria. A slave has no right to rule over his Master’s House. A slave can be promoted as a manager or foreman to provide services to his master but must not share the ownership of the company or household with his master. The Igbo man is highly gifted by God to survive in every situation and turn bad economy to good economy. He sees opportunities where others see problems. He is so daring that he surmounts all obstacles to achieve success even if it means wrestling with the devils.
The past Nigerian Government used the Igbo Intelligentsia to solve the myriads of problems that plagued the country. Unfortunately, President Buhari said that in his own administration, he would not treat those who gave him 5% votes in the same way he would treat those who gave him 97%. The Igbo did not vote for him and will not expect him to get them involved in the Government. We have maintained our stand that even if he contests again, we will not vote for him. We have rejected him.
Are non-Igbos members of MOBIN?
Yes, MOBIN is for all the Biafrans irrespective of their ethnic nationalities in Biafraland. Biafra is multi-ethnic and we respect each other’s region. When we achieve our independence, we shall be called the United States of Biafra where every region would be autonomous, governing itself, controlling its own resources and developing at its own pace.
What is the relationship between MOBIN and non-Igbo Biafrans?
This question has been answered. The non-Igbo Biafrans are all part of MOBIN. It is necessary to emphasise that MOBIN is not for all the Biafrans but only for the Biafrans who believe in politics. Those who do not believe in politics are in other groups such as our human rights group.
What is the relationship between MOBIN and Ohaneze?
MOBIN works in collaboration with Ohaneze Ndigbo on the struggle for self-determination by restructuring Nigeria to Regional Governments. There is vision congruency between MOBIN and Ohaneze Ndigbo. This is why, at the moment, MOBIN is the only pro-Biafra Group that has allied itself with Ohaneze Ndigbo. Both have the same vision of achieving Regional Autonomy before asking for outright independence.
Does MOBIN have international backing?
If you mean international friends, the answer is YES. We have international friends who are in support of our cause. But if you mean international sponsors, the answer is NO. We are financing ourselves.
What is the status of the law suit MOBIN instituted against the Nigerian State?
MOBIN did not file any suit against the Nigerian Government. The suit is filed by The Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra.
Do you expect to win the case?
Yes, we expect to win the case when it goes to an international court outside Nigeria. We do not believe that we shall get justice in Nigeria. We commenced the case in Nigeria as required under the rule of International Law that any people seeking for self-determination by judicial process must commence the action within their domestic jurisdiction and if they are denied justice, they can then move to an international court.
What are MOBIN’s plans for Anambra 2021?
MOBIN is preparing for the Anambra State Election in 2021. We have learnt a lot of lessons in the Nigerian political arena. We are grooming the Biafran politicians to play the politics of Biafra and outsmart the Nigerian politicians. We shall not make the same mistakes we made in the past when we went into an alliance with the UPP. Our experience in Nigerian politics has helped us a lot. I think we are wiser today.