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Article: Why it is better to Free Biafra- Obasanjo writes to share his views

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The whole world is now watching and listening closely to know the
important plea for independence which is coming out of Western Africa.
Nigeria has a population of roughly 180 million people with a balanced
religious mix of roughly 49.3% Christian and 48.8% Muslim. We know most
of the Christians live in southern Nigeria, a land previously controlled
for over thousands of years by a people living in a land known as
Biafra. Biafrans were a proud people. They were mostly Christian and a
bastion of free-enterprise in Western Africa. With the formation of
Nigeria in the breakup of Great Britain’s empire, Biafra lost its
independence when it was unilaterally combined with the Muslim dominated
north.

Today, the drive for a Muslim caliphate in Africa remains focused on
three primary African states, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, where
large populations of Christians remain. The all-out effort to
destabilize the Christian power base has been carried out by Al-Shabaab
in Kenya and Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria.

Boko Haram, an extremist Sunni Islamic fundamentalist sect strongly
influenced by the Wahhabi movement, is committed to establish Nigeria as
an Islamic State under Sharia Law. Their impact is strongest in the
North. Seeking more grazing land for their herds, Fulani militants,
linked to Boko Haram, have killed at least 20,000 people since 2009. The
Fulani herdsmen have been moving south to areas dominated by Christians
and non-religious farmers. They are well armed, and their coordinated
attacks are increasing.

The atrocities against moderate Muslims and Christians are well
documented but not widely covered in the Western press. Recently,
angry Muslims youths in Kano decapitated a woman plastics trader
alleging that she blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad. When the shop owner
refused to allow a young man to wash his legs for the usual Muslim’s
prayers in her shop because other customers were there, the young man
shouted Allahu Akbar and lied to his friends that the owner had
blasphemed. They dragged her away, beheaded her carried her head through
the market and town center.
Many feel that now is the time for Biafra independence. The Biafran
“George Washington,” Nnamdi Kanu, is out from jail from trumped up
charges. Judges have refused to officially charge him. But fearing his
leadership, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to free him
instead to know the fate of Biafrans. His long sustained incarceration
has just fueled the flames for independence. The number of supporters of
freedom for Biafra has quadrupled since Kanu’s imprisonment.
Recently, Niger Delta Avengers blew up vital Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation oil pipelines. A new militant group, Red Egbesu
Water Lions, has joined them in demanding that Nnamdi Kanu be released.
Unless the Buhari government releases Kanu and moves toward a referendum
on independence for Biafra, militants promise to shut down oil and gas
production in the region.
In the past, Shell and British Petroleum have formed lucrative
agreements with the Northern Muslim politicians to control 80% of the
Nigerian oil, primarily from wells in the south. Not only are resources
from Biafra being sold and profits diverted, the lack of environmental
controls have resulted in pollution—hurting farming and fishing in the
south.

Freedom isn’t free, but nowhere in Africa is freedom more important
than in Biafra. But what are the Western powers doing? Unfortunately,
very little. Britain has called for the release of Nnamdi Kanu but said
little about the freedom referendum he supports. While covering the
atrocities of Boko Haram in the North, there is little or no coverage of
the Islamic terrorists brutalizing the Biafran Christians in the South.

This is about more than stopping Islamic extremism in Nigeria.
Supporting the freedom of Biafra establishes a beachhead for Christian
capitalism in Africa that puts a stop to a vision of a united Muslim
caliphate in all of Africa.

America received support from France in breaking free of England.
It’s time for the UN and Western powers to do their part to free the
people of Biafra while independence is still possible without expanded
bloodshed.

Chief Olushegun Obasanjo

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