There is one thing I have learnt in my years of following and commenting on international politics. States actions are presented from the lens of compound noun, but further dissection of these actions, shows that what is assumed as "state actions" in principle, is quite an individuals actions in reality. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) though an umbrella holding every Biafran interest by nomenclature, was rejected by mainstream and repulsive minds who in their different reasons, argued earlier that IPOB non activation of "political channels" in advancing her objectives was their reasons for disassociation with her.
Shockingly today, same people who argued this way yesterdays, are shouting "sell out" immediately they heard "political solutions". Laughably, those of them who told us that they have the right methods of advancing the freedom of Biafran people outside IPOB and her modus operandi, are now abandoning the mainstreaming and marketing of their isolated philosophies and embraced ipobinalisation of their discourses. I asked, could their sudden ipobinalisation of their discussions conscious move or unconscious one? Saying yes or no without importation of chronological and connective facts, will make ones response a feeble one. So therefore, let us look at developing issues here before going to the issue of "political solution".
There is in course of years that which IPOB has achieved that is uncommon among her lover and hater alike. That thing is called discretive consistency. Unlike those on unholy competition with her, she has exempted herself uniquely by surviving state and non state actors ploys and decoys against her while maintaining her philosophy. Like it is commonly said, "failure is an orphan while success have too many siblings". IPOB for more than half a decade now, have been successful in maintaining her ground zero and as time evolved, she became a centre of People's legitimacy stock. Because she has won the people's legimacy and social contract for interest representation, her few depleting and comatose enemies, unconsciously own themselves no other excuse than to make her, a center of discourses and references.
Reality demolishes illusions and facts canonizes healthy opinion. If IPOB survives till date, what survived her is two things vis a vis her structure and modus operandi. If IPOB fails to go into extinction, the failure of the applied extinguisher on her to achieve the desired purpose, is traceable to her structure and modus operandi. So therefore, those who pen down discourses on IPOB today (either good or bad), should give audible or quiet credence to her enduring structure and modus operandi.
This is because without these bipolar muscles, non of us will ever have what to pen down today. Now you can understand that various opinionisation on IPOB is unavoidable and a necessity of the day based on the fact that she has survived and evolved from a group to a nation bloc. It is this reality that makes her a target of actors and players in the land. To the politicians, it is political risk to be in war with IPOB. To the urchins of the day, IPOB most be threatened to reach understanding with them. This is exactly what plays out when a movement survives her challenges and metamorphoses into a footprinted actor of the land.
Among contemporary freedom fighting groups in Africa I have ever studied, I think it is only IPOB that is running a very complex and expensive strategy. How she chooses to walk and survive this too expensive path is what I am yet to fathom in all my investigations. I understand others might have willed to do so, but the capital cum energy requirements, are huge for one to damble uncalculatively.
Historians (local and international) are currently compiling today's IPOB modus operandi for future reference and advise for those coming after us. I understand that this compilation is confronted with divisive opinions due to conflicting interests, but I know that the Historical Society of Nigeria (HSON) to which I was a student member while in the university are doing something objectively towards this course. What IPOB is doing today is making of history. How she wants to be viewed from historical perspective is not different from her modus operandi.
I ones was part of Doctorate thesis development on IPOB Modus Operandi by a post graduate student of one of the Nigerian University. Arguments were furthered on what actually constitutes IPOB Modus operandi? This academic question(s) was raised over three years ago by academia. Thanks to the help of the likes of Amaka Ekwo in clarifying and presenting logical and convincing clarifications that the academia were all inundated with such wonderful elaborations.
But to come down from the tree of intellectualism in explaining this, can one say what IPOB modus operandi is all about? Explaining this to the understanding of peripheral minds, is what is needed here.
Trying to borrow explainable method from works of literature for better clarifications, we were told that drama have three types which are Tragedy, Comedy and Tragicomedy. While Tragedy is like when IPOB is using her hard power in pressing home her demands. Comedy is like her application of soft power to press home. The one of tragicomedy is the combination of the two simultaneously to press home her demands. That is what actually makes literature and IPOB quite interesting before all.
When IPOB uses her hard power, it calls for her application of force to drive home her point. Critics had argued that this is non pacifist and going to do no one else good. Those naive of IPOB modus operandi, sees this component of IPOB as the only method at her disposal. What everyone have come to the agreement here is that IPOB application of her hard components is adjudged to be surgical as targets are carefully mapped out to curtail collateral damage. Her idea of surgical application of her hard power, have led to the people loving her most. For instance, her defensive front (ESN) are deployed to the bushes to confront the Fulani terrorists against coming to our streets as some badly narrow minded friends have wanted it to be. The induction of precision in her usage of her hard power, wins her alot of love from the people.
Some have ignorantly pressured IPOB to abandon other methods or application of her other components for hard power of hers only. And one is forced to asked why would United States who is in possession of nuclear weapons and other dangerous weapons still engage in political and diplomatic solutions in winning her opponents? Does United States utilisation of soft power most time depicts her as weak? Those who don't know, failed to understand that in 1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975, United States was still in possession of nuclear weapons yet she refused to use it against Vietnam despite the humiliations she was confronted with. This is because the regrettable incident of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is still a daint to the Americans till date. Over application or usage of one's might, is nothing but stupidity and idiocy.
IPOB have grown to the point that she must be matured in her usage of powers at her disposal, else she runs into self defeat which they enemies wish she goes. People should understand that hard powers are used for two main purposes; either for compellence or to repellent. Failure to understand this war matrix, drives a fool into stalemate. Sometimes, childish exhibition of one's arsenal strength and might, is self defeat in making. So therefore, IPOB power quotient should not be for exhibition rather for results. Those who are for exhibitions are either ignorant or enemies.
IPOB soft power application doesn't only end in negotiations as some people ignorantly asserted. Little do these fixed minds understand that IPOB even within the ambit of soft power utility of IPOB, lies the idea of civil confrontations. When IPOB engages the Nigerian state argumentatively in the court of law, it is a soft confrontation. When IPOB sit on the same table to discuss a non military way in resolving Biafra question, it is a political solution. The problem some fellows have is understanding of the term while some chose to give a criminal correlation of the term in other to deceive the gullible. Political solution doesn't decommissions ones hard power rather does it mean jettisoning of one's interest.
If one can point to today's world and its development. Today, the entire eastern Europe and the world by extension are in panic over the high tension between Ukraine and Russia. Western media report that Russia is building up military presence around Ukrainian borders as NATO also keep encircling Russia within the Baltic States. While Russia is a nuclear possessor, NATO as led by nuclear Unted States is also a nuclear possessor.
While the world was tensed and global trade are responding to the tensions, United States Secretary of States (Antony Blinken ) and Russian Foreign Minister (Sergey Lavrov) were on meeting on Friday in Geneva looking at political solution to the conflict. That the two drivers of their two separate states foreign policies were in Geneva for political solution, did it made Russia or NATO to demilitarized? The Russian military and NATO military are still where they are. So poorly educated commentators on this kind of issues equate "political solution" as decommissioning without knowing that it is quite not. Sadly, those reasoning on the same path, ignorantly opine their ignorant at the ashame of real observers.
When one attributes some Biafran writers as "ignorant and stupid", it is because of the fact that some of us in our naivities, have trumpeted our ignorance to a high heaven that some fellows have seen it as theatrical to be taken serious. But because everyone can't be stupid, we deemed it wise to salvage the image of the course. Political solution simply means non military approach at resolving conflict. It is as simple as that! Activation of non military path, never calls for demolition of your military might if there is any. Take note!
One of the selling point we are currently maintaining today, is our ability to configure towards vicious circle engagements. While others maintain bi-engagements against the oppressors, IPOB maintains multiple engagement approaches which happen concurrently. Only IPOB have the resources to engage on trenches, court, media, academic space and others without going recess. No other group owns that muscle to do so. This great muscle has been a stimulus to our successes.
There are things people don't know that I think sometimes it makes no security or strategic sense to present to the public. But when hysterical tones are high, one has to walk off conventional ways to enlighten people. When people hear "political solution", it means sit down and let the chat begin. Laughably thought! There are criteria for engagements or pre-conditions for dialogue. These preconditions are things to meet before the commencement of dialogue. For instance, before dialogue ensues, dictions, locations, sitting positions are considered. That you are not yet notified officially of engagements between the Nigerian Government and IPOB is partly owning to the fact that the above preconditions are yet unmet not that engagements of certain degrees are not in place.
For instance on area of diction (choice of words), the kind of words to be used in describing conflicting parties must be discussed. IPOB might for instance say, words like "proscribed", "terrorists" and "secessionist" must be off languages if dialogue is to start. And Nigeria in other hand, might say, words like "zoo" should not be used.
In location, where to discuss falls within the precondition. Will IPOB want a third party to provide good office for dialogue? There are countries known for this like Austria, Switzerland etc in providing neutral grounds for conflict resolution. Infact the process is a complex one that I understand why most confused commentators avoid going deep in it. One they lack deep knowledge of what political solution is, hence they resolved to peddling of falsehood. Because they don't want their gullible ones to feel they are not talking, they have to passively inform them that political solution means selling out the struggle. Laughable. Two, they in their efforts to rubbish anything IPOB, decided to give the concept a laughable presentation.
If IPOB decides to accept political solution, it solidifies further the fact that she is only the ideal channel for engagement which some of the distractors are worried of. Furthermore, Nigerian Government sitting down on same table with IPOB is a surest way of legal certification of power quotient of IPOB which her enemies fears. What we should be worried is the team of IPOB negotiators and the mental disposition of the leader who is a hard negotiator and not the political solution. America won almost all her trade agreements during Trump era due to the fact that Trump is a hard negotiator. If we are sure of Nnamdi Kanu, we should be sure of results if we chose to engage.
Written by
Chika Austine

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