How to get Biafran Independence
Since the noise about the second attempt to secede from Nigeria, I feel compelled to draw the attention of the Igbos and Biafrans to the legal and acceptable ways to pursue such gigantic ambition. I have observed that we are not following the proper channel and strategy to win this battle. We should not start up what we will not finish. it is important for us to know that there are a lot of things that need to be done before we resort to war. Let us not make the second mistake. We do not have enough resources for any confrontation or even war now….. Please retrace back and plan properly.
First of all, there are steps we must follow to ensure we get this properly.
Building Network with Allies
we must begin now to build networks with countries that supported us before and also ensure that we get more countries to our sides. All executives and leaders of Biafrans in Diaspora should start to build link in the various countries they reside and present our case to them. They should try to visit their senate, house of assembly, congress and present our case. especially discuss ethnic cleansing, terrorist attacks, herdsmen attacks, the killing of Christians in the south-east, the federal government maltreatment and selective punishment etc…
Get endorsement from United Nations Security
Get endorsement from at least two of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security. we cannot secede successfully without approval of at least two of the five veto powers. Please check the world politics, it has never been possible, at least two of this five nations must support our movement. Please we should either lean towards Russia and China, Israel or the US and France or perhaps Germany. Its obvious UK is always on the side of Nigeria and no need for any diplomatic discussion at this early stage.
Sensitizing your country members
Create a web portal where all Biafrans can register – We need to have a secured web portal where all our members will register so that we can group our talents and human resources. This is very important for us to know how to manage our human capital. You will need to decide what you require of your citizens. Do they have to pass a citizenship test, or abide by certain laws? What form of identification will they need—a passport? Driver’s license? Subcutaneous RFID?
Generate fund and resources to sustain your struggle
This task of seceding from Nigeria is not something we will just go in for without proper funding. Please ensure we have viable channels of proper funding or support to avoid problems Ojukwu encountered the problem in Biafra-Nigeria war because of no strong proper channel of funding. We must ensure that we have strong funders as our little contributions cannot fund this giant project. The contribution could be used to finance daily operations but entering into active war requires a very strong financial base with interest groups which we must meet and discuss terms.
War is not the only means to gain independence even though it is necessary as freedom is taking but not usually given. We should open up a diplomatic talk with Nigeria and other stakeholders from the background as we match forward. War should be the last resort. We should not put war in front but at the same time, we should not relegate it to the background.
Collaborate with your local neighbours and allies
Collaborate with your local neighbours and allies and Igbo affiliated associations and group. United we will be strong, many people will be advising you all to avoid all Igbo, Ibibio etc group and stand alone. That I don’t agree. We must try to reconcile our differences with these groups. We will not really do well without keeping our house in order. We, of course, will insist that we are not going to compromise our values but we can work together to achieve our common goal
Plan for after independence
Don’t just think of getting the freedom or independence but think of how to develop the country after you have gained the independence
Step 1: Make sure you are eligible
As tempting as it might be to declare your cubicle a sovereign state, customary international law actually does specify minimum standards for statehood.
You must have a defined territory. You must have a permanent population. You must have a government. Your government must be capable of interacting with other states. (This one is somewhat controversial. It was included as a qualification in the 1933 Montevideo Convention, which established the United States good neighbour policy of nonintervention in Latin America, but is generally not recognized as international law.)
Step 2: Declare independence
However, now that your state is established, there are certain benefits you can expect, even if you’re not recognized by anyone. Once an entity has established itself as a de facto state, it will benefit from territorial integrity and certain guarantees of sovereignty. For instance, when Kosovo established itself as a state, Serbia can no longer freely attack it to bring it back into Serbia. It benefits from the prohibition of the use of force under the U.N. Charter. These rules were established during the Cold War to protect new states that were not yet recognized by one bloc or another.
Step 3: Get recognized
Be recognized by the world community. Barring any untoward issues resulting from the founding of your country, you will want to become a player in the world. To do this, you will need other nations to recognize you. This will require you to become adept at international law, politics, and diplomacy. If these are not among your strongest skills, you would be wise to recruit a cabinet of skilled politicos to take on this task.
- This is perhaps the most difficult step of all. Some nations, such as Palestine, Taiwan, and Northern Cyprus have all the checkboxes checked—but are still not recognized by many countries. There are no rules here—every country has its own standards by which they determine a recognition. Things that could have an effect on the outcome are issues such as where you stand on al Queda, or communism, or capitalism. They might hinge on your approach to human rights or control of natural resources.
- The United States has no official policy on what is required for recognition, according to its State Department. Instead, the decision to recognize a state is made by the president. Your request will hinge on who occupies the White House at that time, and their policies and preferences may swing wildly every four years. Then the president decides whether to establish diplomatic relations with the state based on U.S. national interests. There’s no cookie-cutter approach, so when you ask for recognition, be sure to explain how your independence will be good for America. In the old days, proving your anti-communist creed was usually good enough. Today, U.S. strategic priorities are a bit more complex, though as Kosovo proves, ticking off the Russians still helps.
- Also, membership to the UN requires that none of the five powers the US, UK, China, Russia and France veto your membership. In other words, you will have to have neutral stands on controversial issues like Palestine, Taiwan, Crimea, etc.
Remember there’s not much point in having your own country unless other countries acknowledge your existence. International recognition is what gives country legitimacy in the international community and what ultimately distinguishes New Zealand’s of the world from the Nagorno-Karabakhs. Naturally, though, the established countries are going to take some convincing. Recognition is quite complicated because it combines international law and international politics. Some people say that recognition is a purely political act. It is at the discretion of existing states whether they recognize, so there is no right to recognition.
This was especially true during the Cold War, when the national legitimacy of North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea, and East and West Germany depended on which side you asked. Even today, a number of entities are recognized as states by some countries, but not by others. Palestine, Taiwan, and Northern Cyprus fall into this category.
Step 4: Join the club
Since its founding in 1945, membership in the United Nations has become the gold standard of international legitimacy. When you are admitted to the U.N, that’s a form of approval. It’s like a stamp [that says] you are now a full member of the international community.
Applying for U.N. membership is a breeze. According to U.N. rules, all you need to do is write a letter to the secretary-general requesting membership. These letters are remarkably short and simple. For a handy template, check out the successful application of Montenegro, the United Nations most recent member.
You can mail your application to:
The United Nations
First Ave. at 46th St.
New York, NY 10017
Now comes the hard part. The Security Council must refer you to the General Assembly, which must determine by a two-thirds majority that you are a peace-loving state that can carry out the duties of the U.N. Charter.
It’s probably not even worth trying this unless you’ve completed step 3. A number of unrecognized states have applied for U.N. recognition over the years, including American-Indian tribes, but without the credibility bestowed by bilateral recognition; these applications are usually just filed away.
The biggest obstacle to U.N. membership is power politics. Neither North nor South Korea got U.N. membership until 1991 because of vetoes by one bloc or another during the Cold War. Even today, Russia’s veto on the Security Council will probably prevent Kosovo from gaining a seat at the table anytime soon. The Republic of China, a.k.a. Taiwan, was one of the founding members of the United Nations and once had a permanent seat on the Security Council. But Taiwan was booted out in favor of the Peoples Republic of China in 1971, after U.S. President Richard Nixon decided to cozy up to Beijing. The Taiwanese government has applied for membership every year since 1993, but to no avail. The United Nations didn’t even bother to open Taiwan’s most recent letter.
As you can see, the point at which a territory officially becomes a country is very much in the eyes of the beholder. International recognition can be an elusive prize. The good news! The longer you wait, the better your chances become. In international law, which is often based on custom, the longer you can maintain your de facto sovereignty, the more likely you are to be accepted. (Unless, of course, you’re Taiwan.)
The strength of Kosovo’s bid for independence from Serbia is based largely on the fact that it has, for all intents and purposes, been independent for almost a decade. In a more extreme example, the 900-year-old Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic relations with 100 countries and observer status at the United Nations even though its entire territory is contained in a few buildings in Rome. So don’t be discouraged. Starting your own country isn’t impossible. It’s just going to require a lot of patience and the right friends.
Learn about your Host country.
It makes sense to learn about your country before you go off making a new one.
Make your plans. Write what its name is, the capital(s), and State or province names. Language(s). You can think about it.
Know the rules. As Bob Dylan said, “to live outside the law you must be honest.” The same thought holds true for forming a micronation: to make your own rules you must follow established rules and conventions. Much of the basis for current nation-building comes from the 1933 Convention on Rights and Duties of States, also known as the Montevideo Convention. These are the basic rules set out in Article 1 of the Convention:
The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
- A permanent population
- A defined territory
- The capacity to enter into relations with the other states
- The balance of the first ten articles go on to explain that the existence of a state is independent of recognition by other states, and is free to act on its own behalf—and that no state is free to intervene in the affairs of another.
- Note that these are not laws in the conventional sense. You are free to declare yourself a country, anytime, and anywhere. However, nobody will take you seriously, which translates to the simple truth that you will have no legitimacy as a nation.
Find territory for your micronation. This is the hard part. With two exceptions, existing land has all been claimed by existing countries. The main exception is Antarctica. Even then, should you brave the weather and lack of “population appeal,” Antarctica is managed by the most powerful countries in the world, and it’s unlikely they’ll let you just plant a flag and say, “Mine!” Second, there is Bir Tawil, a tiny plot of land between Egypt and Sudan, which neither claim. However, there is very little appeal to this country, due to it being only a patch of sand. Still, there are things to try, to get around this earth of available dirt:
- Conquer an existing country. There are many small island nations dotting the Pacific, and it’s unlikely they have much of a defense force. Sure, it’s crazy—but crazy enough that it might just work! All you need is an army, a navy, and the support of the world community—many of whom protect these small nations from intruders. This has been attempted in Comoros, Vanuatu, and the Maldives, but ultimately failed.
Establish a government and a constitution. The success or failure of your venture will be determined, in large part, by your leadership in governance. Consider the success of the United States, rooted in a Constitution that is at once clear and defined, yet open to interpretation and growth. Without that, it may have fallen into disarray and dozens of small nation-states rather than an arguably united whole. Your government, and your constitution, should be guided by the principles you wish to establish from the start. Here are some examples of various micronations, and their founding principles:
- Nova Roma, dedicated “to the restoration of classical Roman religion, culture and virtues”.
- The Aerican Empire, based on a strong sense of humour and a love of science fiction, fantasy, and games.
- Political simulations or political movements. These micronations tend to have strong political views and are often controversial. In the past, some of them have managed to attract media or political interest, although this is rare. Despite their relative obscurity, they are some of the most common types of micronations.
- Cultural missions. These micronations, similar to historic projects, exist to promote a particular culture and tradition. There are many Germanic micronations such as Domanglia that attempt to recreate the culture and traditions of the former German Empire. Many of these also include nationalistic and patriotic projects.
- Secessionist entities. By far the most serious form of a micronation, secessionist entities are often much older than other forms of micronations. Notable secessionist micronations include Sealand, the Hutt River Province, and Freetown Christinia.
Establish an economy. If you’re not trading in dollars, Euros, or other currency, you will need to create your own financial system. Will you base your nation’s wealth on gold, on securities, or on a whim and a prayer? While your word may count among your friends, for the national debt, you will need some serious collateral for that to be of any use. If you stick to established currencies, you will still need to determine how to fund your government, and the best way to do this may be anathema to the very reason you start your own country: taxes. Through taxation, your government will be able to provide essential services such as a power grid, water lines, a necessary bureaucracy (as minimal as you like), and an army.
- It’s a fundamental obligation for every state (small or large) to be able to defend its citizens from enemies. Whether this is a standing army, national guard, compulsory service, or some other defensive solution, this will be something to consider when creating your constitution.
Manage your branding. Every country needs a flag, of course, and yours will be no different. This is the most prominent of national symbols, but there are other symbols that will help establish your identity as a nation:
- Money. What will your currency look like? Will it have your profile boldly embossed on gold coins, and in 3D hologram on paper money, or will you use a symbolic icon such as Lady Liberty or Charlton Heston? Will you go full-tilt modern, or attempt to hearken back to a time when each piece was carved by hand?
- State Seal. You can come up with a national motto and translate it into Latin. There are many free online translators. Add some florid graphics with a shield, all to suggest you’re descended from royalty—or you can state your mission clearly in your own language, and have a graphic designer create a logo. A good logo can be worth more than the crown jewels of England!
- Official correspondence. With all the letters you’ll be writing to the President, the UN, the Prime Minister, and other heads of state, you’ll want nice letterhead on high-quality paper, embossed with your seal.
- National Anthem. You’ll want a national anthem to play at important events.
- Get Involved. There are quite a few different communities out there. Get your national self (or your official emissaries) out there and involved!
- If your intent is to have a functional and independent country, you will ultimately need an infrastructure (e.g., roads, school, buildings, hospital, and fire station).
- Be sure you maintain neutral relations with the superpowers. Staying away from North Korea may help.
- Study existing and well-established micronations. What has made them successful (or what’s made them abject failures)? What can you learn from them?
- It is very important to establish a functioning website, possibly with a blog feature used as a news service. It also might be a good idea to also create a Wiki article – there are several micronational wikis for you to use; but don’t forget that your nation must be more than a website and an article!
- Join an organization. There are quite a few organizations specifically for micro nations and people trying to create their own countries. They might be a more general ‘UN-style’ organization, like the Organization of Active Micronations (OAM) or the League of Secessionist States (LoSS), or they may have more specific aims, like the Micronational Cartography Society (MCS). This can be a great way to meet other micronationalists and can help you and your micronation in many different ways. You could even start the United Federation of Micronations!
- Micronationalism is a hobby and serious thing that includes people from all different backgrounds. Respect is the key to peace. Intolerance is the key to war.
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