No part of Nigerians has a right to secede from the country named the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For that, we have Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe to thank if you believe in a united Nigeria or blame if you support Biafran secession.
The idea for a secession clause was mooted by Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1954 during the Lagos Constitutional Conference. Nnamdi Azikiwe rejected it and galvanised a majority of the conference attendees to kill the idea.
After this was rejected, Chief Awolowo again wrote to the then Governor General of Nigeria, who rejected the clause on the grounds that the majority, led by Nnamdi Azikiwe, were not in support of it. It was because of Nnamdi Azikiwe that section 86 was inserted into our constitution with the proviso that if any region should secede, it would be an act of treason.
Nnamdi Azikiwe himself wrote about this in an essay, which was published by the New Nigerian Newspapers in 1975 and has since been republished by other papers and by Mr. Azikiwe himself. Were it not for Azikiwe, Biafra would have had the legal right to secede. On February 23, 1966, Isaac Adaka Boro declared the secession of the Niger Delta Republic from Nigeria.
After he did this, there was outrage in the Eastern Region, which almost resulted in riots. Please go and research it. The then Head of State, Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, quashed what he called the Isaac Boro mutiny using primarily troops of Eastern Nigeria origin. When his ‘rebellion’ was crushed twelve days later, there was celebration in Nigeria and especially in the Eastern Region.
My question to those who spread the propaganda that Southeastern Nigeria has a right to secede is this: If Boro’s declaration of the Niger Delta Republic was seen as a crime by the then Head of State, Ironsi, and the rest of the country, especially the Eastern Region (Isaac Boro’s part of the Niger-Delta was then under Eastern Nigeria), why should the declaration of the Republic of Biafra be seen as lawful?
Colonel Emeka Ojukwu himself was the military Governor of Eastern Nigeria who first moved against Isaac Boro with the assistance of the Ironsi central government. If both Ojukwu and Ironsi fought Isaac Boro for attempting to secede from Eastern Nigeria and Nigeria, why are some of our brothers blaming Gowon and Nigeria for fighting Colonel Ojukwu when he declared Biafra?