HOMOGENOUS BIAFRA AND THE LAND-LOCK CONCERN: A PHILOSOPHICAL INSIGHT

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I am sure that a lot of my brothers and sisters in the East and the Diaspora all of whom are ravenous readers of my works have been waiting for this work. Let me tender my unreserved apology to you all for starving you. Part of the reasons behind the delay is your request that most of you are tagged. I am optimistic of your ever-ready acceptance of my apology. I crave your attention as I delve into the subject matter.
DEMYSTIFYING LANDLOCKED NATIONS
A nation, state, community, and village is said to be landlocked if it is either without water bodies that connect other cities or exists in a coastal region with rivers that are closed. A closed river, if you must know, is one that does not have any connection with/to an international sea. Several landlocked nations exist in the world – between 44 and 49 nations are globally landlocked.
There are categories of the concept of being landlocked. We have those countries that are singly landlocked and those that are doubly landlocked. The singly landlocked nations are those that lack international inroads by sea, but that are connected to littoral or coastal countries e.g. Lesotho surrounded by South Africa, San Marino surrounded by Italy, and Vatican City surrounded by Italy.
Countries that are doubly landlocked are surrounded by other countries that are themselves landlocked e.g. Kazakhstan surrounded by Uzbekistan, Afghanistan,Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan; and Liechtenstein surrounded by Switzerland and Austria. Note that the doubly landlocked nations are surrounded by at least two other landlocked countries.
Equally worthy of note is the fact that only two continents do not have landlocked nations, to wit: North America – the United States of America, Cuba, Haiti, Canada etc. and Australia, which we all know is an island. These countries are not landlocked, but they have states that are. For instance, the US is a coastal country, yet she has more than half of her entire 51 states landlocked. South America has just two landlocked nations: Bolivia and Paraguay. The following countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia are landlocked:
Austria, Armenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Luxembourg, Slovakia (Europe), Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan (Asia), Mali, Uganda, South Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Mali, Malawi, Ethiopia, Chad, Central African Republic, and Burundi (Africa). These are the landlocked countries in the world. I had to pay more attention to Africa because that is the one that concerns us, since Biafra will be situated in Africa. Some of these landlocked nations are the result of political decisions of some parts. For instance, Serbia became landlocked when Montenegro left; Bolivia became landlocked when land was lost to Chile; Austria and Hungary lost theirs to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye; Southern Sudan broke off Sudan and became landlocked etc.
THE CHALLENGES AND SOLUTION
Landlocked nations are faced with some economic and political challenges that include, inter alia:
1) Lack of access to fishing and oceanic food sources.
2) High transportation and transit costs because of lack of access to ports and world shipping operations.
3) Geopolitical vulnerabilities from dependence on neighbouring countries for access to world markets and natural resources.
4) Military limitations because of the lack of naval options, which is a sign of security challenge.
Having identified these problems, landlocked nations have been able to fashion out ways of surmounting them. Some of the contrivances deployed by embattled nations to overcome the economic and political problems are as follows:
1) The Treaty of Versailles made it possible for Germany to be of assistance to Poland.
2) The Republic of Ragusa ceded its town, Neum, to assist Ottoman Empire.
3) Angola assisted Congo DR to get to the sea.
4) Ukraine assisted Moldova using Danube River.
5) Bilateral trade agreements between and among nations. This makes use of international waterways e.g. Mekong enables Lao connect China; Danube waterway enables Moldova, Serbia, and Slovakia connect Black Sea; and the Treaty of Versailles enables Czechoslovakia connect Elbe and Oder rivers.
6) Free ports for transshipments between and among
vessels.
WHY HOMOGENOUS BIAFRA WILL NOT BE LANDLOCKED
One of the fears our Igbo brothers and sisters in the East have had concerning the impending restoration of Biafra Republic is that if the new republic fails to absorb its coastal neighbours, the Niger Delta states, it will be landlocked. The basis for this work is to dowse that fear once and for all. Let me start by saying that I will continue to provide the platform for any possible reunion between our sister regions – the East and Niger Delta. However, I will not go down on my knees to beg my brothers and sisters to join their brothers in the East, with whom they share similar culture and religion. This is so because I am aware that my people are loud-mouthed and haughty about nothing, since the so-called resources are not even under their control. Reminisce that in one of my previous works, I made it clear that the natural resources are without value in their unharnessed state. It is the control of the refining processes that confers power on a people. It is against that backdrop that I wish to say that my Niger Delta people are powerless with respect to the oil and gas in their backyard. Yes, the Niger Deltans, my own people, can put up demeanour that is astounding at times. One wonders why they would watch passively as the Futa Jalons feed fat on them, but get nervy over the proposed inclusion of their states in a nation where they will exert full control over their lands, politics, resources, and security. Their violent reaction is, to say the least, most inexplicable.
The crux of this section of the work is that being landlocked poses some challenges on the affected nations, but nations have survived it. Who would have thought that a nation like Switzerland, a landlocked nation, would be one of the best nations in the world? But I dare say that should the other natural constituents of Biafra land back out, a homogenous Biafra will not be landlocked. In the case of Biafra, it will not be a matter of working hard to surmount anything: there will not be such challenge. The cogent reasons behind my position cannot be far-fetched.
RIVER NIGER: This body of water has an extension of 4,180km (2,600 sq mi), a drainage basin that covers 2, 117,700km (817,600 sq mi) in area, and has its source in the Guinea Highlands in southern Guinea. It connects Mali, Niger, Benin, the Niger Delta, and Gulf of Guinea. Its mouth is the Atlantic Ocean. It is the job of the new Republic to dredge the part that traverses its lands. The River Niger can be rejuvenated and traced to the Atlantic Ocean. In doing this, bilateral agreements shall be entered into by the countries that dot its trajectory. All the governments in Nigeria have failed to dredge this river with a view to connecting the East to the sea – the consequence of which has been the high cost of freight incurred by the traders in the East. The neglect this river has suffered confirms the godless exclusion of the East from the programmes of Nigeria’s Federal Government.
OGUTA LAKE: This lake is the largest natural lake in Imo State found within the equatorial rainforest of Niger Delta. Its primary inflows are Utu, Awbana, Orashi, and Njaba Rivers. It is situated in Oguta about 30 miles (48.27km) from the junction of Ndoni and Orashi River (all in Niger Delta). It is a fine piece of water that is about 5 miles (8.05km) long and 1.5mile (2.41km) wide. This lake is connected to River Niger, making it an international waterway that will connect Biafra land to the Atlantic Ocean. It is obvious that there is no way Biafra, whether homogenous or heterogenous, will be landlocked. Providence has so made fortune cast its beam of light on the indigenous people of Biafra that it will not be possible to cage them. Let us continue to push for Biafra Republic. Biafra is a spirit that has taken possession of those of us down south to the gamut that nostalgia is what we feel. Biafra is our home, and the soul does not rest until it is home. My restless soul desires to be home. Biafra is home sweet home. We shall be very happy in Biafra. Let us go together.
Finally, let us continue to pray for our brothers down south. We pray the speck falls off their eyes now lest when we are gone all they can see amidst the onslaught from the Futa Jalons is regret. The doggedness and incomparable creativity of the Igbo man will always turn whatever he touches to gold. For the Igbo man and woman, nothing is impossible. Before you allow this baseless fear have the better of you, recall that it was the Igbo man that sojourned to the forests in neighbouring states, felled the trees, and commercialized the host communities. Ndi Igbo kwenu!
All hail Biafra! All hail the Land of the Rising Sun!
Thanks and God bless.
Russell Bluejack is a thinker, a revolutionary writer, a university tutor, and socio-economic and political analyst that writes from Port Harcourt.

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