What is the plight of Edo/Delta region in the emerging Geographical Configuration?
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Oduduwa Nation will soon become a reality. It is even more likely that Biafra regains its freedom before Oduduwa, going by the vigor and tenacity with which its citizens pursue the cause. While it may be difficult to put a clear time-line to when these countries’ flags will be hoisted, what is not difficult to fathom is that where they are going is much closer than where they were coming from.
The spirit and body of the overwhelming majority of Biafrans and Oduduwa have left Nigeria. Those who still be pretending to be proponents of a One-Nigeria are those whose survival rests with the Nigerian administration, either as federal government employees, those who do contracts/projects with the federal government or those, who through marital ties, have a leg each in the north and south. This is why the Nigerian government is resisting a self-determination referendum at all cost. They know that if there were to be any such referendum today, more than 90% of Oduduwa and Biafra will vote to leave. Like they say, the genie is out of the bottle. It is now a mass-movement, a raging fire that can hardly be quashed. The social media has made the propagation and recruitment process quite easy. Anyone still in doubt about the strength, the dedication and the one-mindedness of these agitators is really out of tune with current realities.
It is in the light of the eminency of these “countries” that I raise the issue of the plight of the peoples of the former Bendel State, (present Edo and Delta States).
The maps of Biafra and Oduduwa have been circulating in the social space. Some versions of these maps include part of Edo & Delta area, both in the map of Oduduwa and Biafra. Although there have been a few ‘individual’ oppositions to these maps on social media, we have not read a clear and what could be taken as an official position of the governments of these states nor any of their political leaders. What exactly is the future direction of Edo and Delta in the emerging geographical configuration?
Governor Obaseki of Edo State is embroiled in a political war, upon which his second term as a governor rest. Because of that, he seems to be oblivious to the unfolding ‘demarcation’, and whether the territory that he is contesting to govern is being balkanized.
Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has also not made any comment about the issue. Some observers of the politics of Delta state say he does not want to offend the powers at Abuja.
When therefore, do the thought–leaders of these region intend to come together to provide the needed leadership, to articulates and defines the roadmap for the region?.
While it seems the administrators in these states are “looking the other way”, buses, trailers and shipping containers loads of northern youths, some of whom may have come from outside of Nigeria are offloading into the Edo/Delta region, just as they are infiltrating other states in the south. These are not young men on excursion. They appear to any keen observer as foot soldiers or mercenaries with sinister motives. Overlooking this as just some youth looking for better opportunities could be a great mistake.
It is obvious that this movements are well coordinated, financed and are being systematically executed. There are reports that these movements have been tracked to Kogi, Enugu, Aba, Auchi, Ilorin, Akwa-Ibom, and Port Harcourt. All these movements, during the lockdown, which was supposed to restrict inter-state movements. Can you then imagine how many of these people had already gotten into the southern states un-noticed before the lockdown?
My brother who recently visited Uromi, Irrua and Ekpoma in Edo State told me he could not believe the size of Hausa/Fulani that he saw riding Okada and engaging in other menial activities in those towns. He made similar observations in Lagos. According to him, there are loads of Hausa/Fulani involved in riding Keke Marwa, Okada and engaged as Gatemen throughout Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi. In the event of an onslaught, how prepared are the inhabitants of these communities to repel the attacks?
Enough digression; will the MidWest (i.e. Edo and Delta) become a part of Biafra? Will it become a part of Oduduwa? Will it maintain its sovereignty as an independent Nation? If the plan is for it to emerge as a sovereign nation, will it be known as United Niger-Delta Republic OR MidWest Republic?
We cannot afford to seat on the fence at this critical period when a lot is unfolding in the body politics within the Nigeria political space. Neither can we pretend that this is just an ill wind that would blow away by some divine intervention. The Nigerian state is heavily pregnant, speaking in metaphoric terms. That pregnancy might even be in its third trimester.
Whether its delivery will be natural (constitutionally) or through a cesarean operation (conflict of arms) is not clear. Whatever the avenue, that delivery date does not seem too far away. What plans does the Edo/Delta region have in place as we anticipate this delivery? As every expectant mother would know, there are preliminary arrangements that you make as a delivery date draws near. What preparations has “MidWest Republic” made? Even for pregnancies that ended up becoming ‘stillbirth’, preparations are still made, just in case!
There is a new political and ideological awakening among the citizens of southern Nigeria. The cloak of division that had hitherto ensured they do not collaborate are broken down. We are all witness to the recent announcements that the Unrepresented Nation People Organization (UNPO) recognized the clamor of Biafra and Oduduwa as Nations seeking self – determination and self – government. As we speak, these two Nations are ‘knocking on all doors’ and seeking all avenues for acceptance and recognition of major world bodies, overtly and covertly. If we wait until they have achieved widespread recognition before planning our own exit strategy, we may then be bargaining from a very weak and vulnerable position.
We don’t want to be caught, standing alone in a ‘sinking ship’. I recall during the Chukwuma Soludo banking industry consolidation era, that the banks that did not get a merger partner whilst the discussions windows were still opened, ended up being “bought at give-away prices”, irrespective of the assets they were bringing to the table.
At that point, you were only waiting for an Undertaker to perform your interment. The MidWest Nation must not be caught standing alone in the sinking ship. Coast Guards may no longer be available at that point.
Peter Omonua, who lives in Ontario Canada can be reached at: