Biafra: Breaking up Nigeria has consequences – Junaid Mohammed


Kano-based fiery politician, Junaid Mohammed, has called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to look beyond the United States, for ways out of the country’s present economic recession.

This is even as he said that if the Igbo continued with their agitation, a democratic means could be devised for them to vote and decide whether they want to go or remain in Nigeria. He was, however, quick to add that those who think that breaking up Nigeria, was a universal remedy to all its problems, were deceiving themselves.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Saturday Sun, Mohammed, who cannot understand why the US would be prescribing what it never applied to its economy, when it faced economic challenge, similar to that of Nigeria, about eight years ago, further said: “Ironically, when the US ran into economic crisis in 2008, they did not do what they are now advising us to do. They say, we must control our budget, rein in on our spending and expenditure, bla, bla. But, when they were in economic crisis, instead of reducing government spending, they increased their own spending. They also maintained a high level of their currency. So, what makes you think that we must listen to those advising us to do what they never did, when they faced similar challenge in the past? They never did what they are asking us to do.”


You once advised President Buhari, at the inception of his administration in 2015, that if Igbo want to go, they should be allowed to go. Do you still hold the same view?

Well, I don’t know if you understood the context in which I said the Igbo should be allowed to go, if they want to go. First, there is no way the Federal Government can allow any section of the country to go, without going through another civil war. And another civil war is an open invitation to anarchy and violence. I am not a violent man, I don’t believe in violence. But yes, if they continue with their agitation, a democratic way can be devised, so that they can vote, to decide whether they should be allowed to go, or to remain.

However, and most unfortunately too, Igbo have not articulated what they want. You cannot start talking for people who do not know exactly what they want. What will you be preparing for? And mark you, those who imagine that breaking up Nigeria will be a panacea to all the problems we have, are deluding themselves. I say so because, examples abound all over the world. Look at Southern Sudan experience, America insisted that the country must be split in two, it has since been done, but is there peace in Southern Sudan today? The South is already enmeshed in a bloody civil war; nobody knows how it will end, when it will end. I don’t believe Igbo would want to go through another civil war, after the first disaster of 1967-1970. And I believe they are entitled to every right and everything an average Nigerian is entitled to. And there is no evidence; they can claim to say they have been deprived.

But they are complaining of being marginalized under the present administration?

It is not correct. Tell me, who is not marginalized under this administration? Anyway, the two most powerful individuals running the country’s economy today, rightly or wrongly, are Igbo. The Minister of Budget and National Planning is an Igbo man, the Adviser on Budget is an Igbo man, and the CBN governor is an Igbo man. So, only the Minister of Finance is not Igbo. So, if they think they can continue to make irresponsible demand from the national patrimony, of course, let them go ahead. At some point, all things must come to a certain end. And I don’t lose sleep over certain demands made by some people.

One of the arguments they are making is that, in terms of equitable distribution of resources and political offices, they have not been fairly treated.

Are you also saying they have no case in that regard?

Well, first and foremost, they should tell us, who has been favoured, vis-à-vis the positions they claim? Two, was it a planned subterfuge by the government of the day to deny them certain positions or was it as a result of certain things that have happened in the past, when Igbo occupied those positions, which is not as a result of anybody’s planning? For example, after General Aguiyi Ironsi, who was implicated in the coup that brought him to power, the next senior Igbo man we had was (Gen Azubuike) Ihejirika, as the Chief of Army Staff. He turned out to be a big disaster, as he turned out to be a dangerous tribalist. What makes them think that we must now give them that position again, simply because they are now clamouring for it? That is number one. Number two, we had a former governor of the Central Bank, his name was Paul Oguma, and he was a disaster. We now have another Igbo man, Godwin Emefiele, who has turned out to be another disaster. So, if you allow me, I can go on and on.

(Cuts in) But we had another Igbo man, as CBN governor, Prof. Charles Soludo, who most Nigerians believe performed creditably well in office.

Soludo is only good at noisemaking; I don’t think he was such a brilliant governor of the CBN…

Source: The Sun News

Categories: Igbo news

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