Recently, the spate of agitations for restructuring of the country has assumed a frightening dimension, with the Igbo calling for self-determination, while others are calling for regional autonomous government.
According to the opinion poll/ survey recently organised by an Australian-based research firm, Bizopt Solutions, on behalf of Global Igbo Alliance, the outcome of the poll showed that 80.45 percent of the participants were angling for Biafran Republic. A statement signed by the president of GIA, Dr. Christian Duru and the General Secretary, Prisca Chinwe Ebo stated that participants, drawn from 36 states of the federation plus the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were asked to choose if they wanted a republic of Biafra, a regional autonomous government, modelled after the 1963 constitution or if they wanted to remain in one united Nigeria as it is today.
According to the report, the percentage participations of the states are detailed as follows: Abia State recorded eight percent participation, Adamawa State – 0.08 percent, Akwa Ibom State – 2.97 percent, Anambra State – 11.72 percent, Bauchi State – 0.25 percent, Bayelsa State- – 3.05 percent, Benue State – 6.68 percent, Borno State – 0.08 percent, Cross River State – 3.63 percent, Delta State – 5.61 percent, Ebonyi State – 7,51 percent, Edo State – 1.40 percent, Ekiti State – 0.083 percent, Enugu State – 10.40 percent, FCT Abuja – 4.79 percent, Gombe – 1.16 percent, Imo State – 18.23 percent, Jigawa State – 0.33 percent, Kaduna State – 0.41 percent, Kano State – 0.74 percent and Katsina state with 0.25 percent participation. Others are Kwara State with 0.41 percent participation, Kogi State – 0.25 percent, Kebbi State – 0.30 percent, Lagos State – 3.80 percent, Nasarawa State – 0.15 percent, Ogun State – 0.33 percent, Ondo State – 0.33 percent, Oyo State – 0.25 percent, Plateau State – 0.33 percent, Rivers State – 4.87 percent, Sokoto State – 0.15 percent, Taraba State – 0.15 percent, Yobe State – 0.25 percent and Zamfara State with 0.15 percent participation.
The report revealed that over 80.45 percent of the Igbo indicated that they want Biafra; 17.99 percent indicated their preference for regional autonomous government, modelled after the 1963 constitution, while the remaining 1.57 percent wants to remain in Nigeria as it is today. GIA said even though, the survey was meant for the Igbo; over 8.50 percent non-Igbo participated in the process, with over 94. 22 percent of the respondents, falling into the age bracket of 18 and above. The survey result found a very strong support for Biafra identified mainly in the southern state. The group noted that the survey, which was the first of its kind, demonstrated preference for Biafra as the first choice for the Igbo people. “It clarifies what the Igbo want. This is the first time a statistical evidence is presented, indicating that a wide majority of the Igbo people want Biafra,” GIA submitted.
The survey results also found that those who want regional autonomous government came a distant second with 17.99 percent, whereas those who want Nigeria as presently constituted came last with a skimpy 1.57 percent; a clear indication that nobody wants to be in Nigeria with its current structure. Following the outcome of the survey, GIA is calling on the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government and its relevant agencies and stakeholders to listen to the voice of the people, and respect their will. “If after 100 years of co-existence, the various components that make up Nigeria still find it impossible to co-exist without violence, then the structure calls for a review.
There is no gain saying that Nigeria is in crisis and has hopelessly remained unworkable for so long. The earlier we accept these facts and opt for a change of the current structure through self-determination or regional autonomy for the component parts, the better for all and sundry. The current Nigerian government knows that to continue to live in denial about Nigeria is not only deceitful and counter-productive but also very dangerous. “A responsible and ingenious government does not ignore the will of her people. Any leader, be it in government or any other human endeavour that altruistically claims a role in emancipation of mankind, cannot afford to ignore the will of the people.”