The solution to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitation, Kenyan Lawyer, Professor Patrick Lumuba says lies within Nigeria.
The former Kenya anti-corruption director feels that such agitation by IPOB also threatens the Pan African dream of unity and friendship that inspired so many African leaders on the eve of independence.
He made this assertion while speaking at The Fela Debates 9: “40 Years After FESTAC, 20 Years After Fela…Wither The pan-African Dream?” held at the NECA Hall, Ikeja, Lagos Monday.
“We must be proud of our ethnicities if we want to have a great Africa.
“Your destiny as Hausa-Fulani, Igbo or Yoruba is right inside Nigeria.
“There are some rebels without a cause; they just want to cause disorder, because disorder itself is also big business.
“Many of the grievances (of agitators like IPOB), I look at it and say they have a solution within Nigeria.”
Continuing, Lumumba, who is also an author says:“Were the grievances being raised by the people of (Niger) Delta during the Goodluck Jonathan administration legitimate?
“Are the grievances being raised by the different 36 states legitimate? Yes! They are the very basis of what governance is all about.
“When you look at the declaration of independence of the United States, which I love, it says: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness’.
“In other words, we institute government among men to pursue happiness; to pursue self-actualization.”
‘Grievances Means Come, Let Us Reason Together’
Furthermore, the multiple award winner elucidates:“If there are these grievances in Nigeria, as they are in my country (Kenya) now, as they are in Tanzania now, as they are in South Africa now, it is a case for the country coming together to reason together.
“And when you reason together, you are able to find out, what are the grievances and how can they be resolved? Self-Determination is key.”
Citing examples of countries like Spain (Catalan), the United Kingdom, Sweden, Iraq and Canada, where secession is mooted too, he suggests that ‘we negotiate within the country’.
“When you secede, where does it stop? That is the problem. We can balkanize a country.
”Have we seen it in our lifetime? Yes. We have seen the creation of Kosovo, Czech Republic, and all these.
“Africa is in a unique stage. We have the advantage of seeing other people make mistakes. If there is anything to learn from history, it is to avoid those mistakes.”
Lumumba, who is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Kenyan School of Law recommends that the African Union should summon leaders of active rebel groups in Africa to Addis Ababa for a meeting and ask them what they actually want.
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