Firstly, Biafra was a secessionist and illegitimate state in Nigeria that generated a lot buzz through the struggle that lasted from 1967 to 1970 (Nigerian civil war era ). It was basically a tribal movement that was birthed by the unprecedented rate of tribalism, nepotism and favouritism in the country, which was really evident in the allocation of the national resources in the country at the time; socio-economic, power, military, to mention a few among others.
Since the fall of the secessionist state in 1970 and the re-absorption of the south eastern region back into Nigeria as one entity, there have been periodic comments and demonstrations by those who still hold the idea of a break away within the region. Most of them connected to the initial struggle, some great historians and embittered for the losses recorded during the civil war (Lives and properties), and some are just with an undefinable angle. There have been several bodies, but prominent are the MASSOB (Movement for the actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra) and IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra), groups popular for the buzz they have generated in recent times on both national and international scene concerning re-visitation of the supposed secessionist mandate. IPOB being the major thrust of this article has received attention of both people and world government, especially after the arrest of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu by Nigerian government for hate crimes and incitement.
Many Nigerians are bewildered with the perception the IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) holds and the decision of the Federal Government to proscribe it as a terrorist organization. This is the reason why someone came on banta to ask and other Nigerians what they think about the group, syncing it with our grassroot knowledge of opinion or interest groups from high school government subject and also the idea of contemporary terrorism rooted in conflict and conflict resolution, diplomacy and world order, and advance balance of power.
However the question presented is a contextual one and we have reached out to some of our experts in this area. One believes that the idea of an interest group that decides to champion the fifty years long agitation for the reasons known to the public scene – secession due to the supposed or maybe evident faulty structure of the country. Not delving into historical antecedents but tending to the immediate query, IPOB as a group is constitutionally legal to operate within the Nigerian soil and in fact, influence government and public opinions and decision. The threat or use of violence however makes it eminent for the government through the domestic police to curb or put them on course. The decision to use the Nigerian military via the “Operation Python Dance II” was however a despicable one, as the military was degraded from being a body that protects the country from external aggression to one that oversees domestic policing.
In conclusion, IPOB is a legal group until it becomes a violent threat to the national security as suggested by the constituted bodies that look into National security and sustainable development in Nigeria but the dictatorial tendencies of the current dispensation which dissuades idea of opposition or criticism through its different legislation and executive sanctions that directly or indirectly targets human rights, democratic provisions and digital rights have made the discourse a more complicated one. However, there are materials online, some are really insightful while some are inciting as regards the issues of Biafra and its actualization in Nigeria. It would be suggestive to read between the lines of an issue as critical and sensitive like this one so as to stay and remain on the right side of history however.