We Stand For Nigeria’s Unity
As the Biafra secession agitation heightens, following the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, Agwuna Favour Obianuju, a 400 level Pharmacy student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka urges agitators to embrace Nigeria’s unity rather than division. The Ukpo, Dunukofia local government area, Anambra State-born expert in research and writing is the leader, Igbos For A Progressive Nigeria, IPAN, Students wing. She speaks, in this interview made available to OpenLife, on her mission “to proclaim and create awareness of the IPAN’s ideology in schools.”
Why is IPAN clamouring for a united peaceful Nigeria?
IPAN is clamouring for a united and peaceful Nigeria, because nobody loves war and anything that will not bring peace among all the ethnic groups can lead to war. Therefore, as we are recognized as one Nigeria, our paramount strive will be to maintain a peaceful country through peaceful dialogue and understanding of one another.
What is your message to the people who are agitating for secession?
My message to them is that agitating for secession is not the best way to deal with the situation in Nigeria. They should ask themselves if they divide, do they think there won’t be any conflict among them? So, I believe there must be a way out and that’s one of the reasons IPAN was formed; to bridge the gap between the major ethnic groups striving for secession.
What are your roles as the national coordinator of IPAN Students Wing?
My roles include: to proclaim and create awareness of the IPAN’s ideology in schools, to let students know that secession can only ruin people instead of what people think it will bring, to seek peace among the students irrespective of their states, religions and ethnic groups, to carry all the students along, and to ensure that there’s a peaceful existence among the students.
You have been pushing IPAN’S ideology of peace and unity in schools, how would you describe the challenge?
Being a coordinator or leader of a particular wing or group comes with myriads of challenges because if you don’t express your ideas or reasons for the establishment of the organization properly, many will see you as a jester.
You also coordinate activities concerning IPAN amongst students, how would you describe your experience with some of these students?
Students are not handily coordinated, it takes a lot to impact and convince them of the importance of a particular organization. The reply I always get whenever I post the flyer is “are they giving us money? So, it has been a laborious thing to do but through persistent, cordial and good communication skills, we’ve been getting some positive feedback. They are beginning to understand what IPAN has to offer.
Why do you share the vision behind IPAN?
It is because IPAN’S vision is lucid and applaudable and with it, Nigeria will go far.
How responsive are the students in driving the objectives of IPAN?
Many of the students that have joined see IPAN’S objectives as the propeller of Nigeria’s progress, so they have agreed to participate fully in IPAN and also encourage their friends to join.
What advice would you give your fellow students on the need to embrace IPAN’s ideology?
I would advise my fellow students to know that peace and unity as stated in IPAN ideology is essential for our continuous existence. Years back during war, a lot of young people died. So, anything that warrants war in Nigeria will definitely affect the young ones (students), hence, there is a need to partake in the ideology of IPAN. This will heighten the progress of our dear