Republic of Biafra Government in Exile

Biafra government

The Republic of Biafra Government in Exile (REPBGIE) is an entity that works tirelessly to
promote the well‐being of Biafrans, numbering over 70 million people in Nigeria and in the global
Diaspora, including the United States. REPGBIE is a proverbial child of necessity Headquartered
at Biafra House, 6188 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Maryland 20745, in the Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan Area. It was birthed as a self‐defense response to the military occupation, thinly‐
clothed exclusion, unvarnished marginalization, de‐industrialization, and genocide of the Igbo
and other Biafrans that have gone on in Nigeria since the supposed end of the Nigerian civil war
in 1970. These atrocities reached new heights of repressiveness under the nominal democratic
Fourth Republic of Nigeria since 1999, particularly under the Fulani Jihadist government of
General Muhammadu Buhari since 2015. The REPBGIE resolutely commits itself to a peaceful
and nonviolent dissolution of Nigeria.
The Buhari government has depended heavily on foreign and domestic loans to finance its
operations. But Biafrans will not be held liable for these reckless loans. There is no point in
bringing suit against the government of a country in dire need of a new social contract after its
100‐year lease of life expired in 2014. Instead, via this open letter, the more limited aim of the
Republic of Biafra Government in Exile (REPBGIE) is to put the world on notice that Biafrans, for
over 50 years now excluded by Nigeria’s Fulani‐dominated government, will not be liable for
repayment of loans that they had no hand in accumulating nor in any way benefitted from.
In March 2020, the Senate, Nigeria’s upper legislative house, approved the request for a loan in
the amount of US $22.7 billion that President Muhammadu Buhari presented to it. According to
news reports, about $17.06 billion of the loans tied to various projects, none of which is sited in
Biafra‐land, will be provided by China’s Exim bank, said to be Nigeria’s biggest bilateral creditor
in over two decades. In no particular order, the rest of the loan will come from the African
Development Bank, the World Bank, the German Development Bank, and the Islamic
Development Bank. The Senate approved Buhari’s request, despite protests by states in the
southeast, homeland of the Igbo, complaining of being excluded from the infrastructural
development captured in the loan.
On March 11, 2020, Igbo Board of Deputies, a Southeast civil society organization, petitioned
China’s Exim Bank to suspend or cancel the loan. In its letter to the bank signed by one Austin
Okeke, and delivered at the bank’s office in Johannesburg, the group warned that it would join
the bank in projected suit against the Nigerian government if it fails to heed to its demand.
Characteristically, the Buhari government ignored them. The group indicated that Igbo will not,
“as a matter of principle, fact, and law,” participate in the servicing and repayment of loans
whose proceeds they did not benefit from. It poignantly added that: “The Igbo shall not be held
liable for these loans, not now and in the future. We will not mortgage the rights and interests of
our future generations for something they neither partook in nor benefited.”
This is the same position that, by this open letter to lenders, Biafrans all across the world, the
U.S. government and the international community in general, the REPBGIE canvasses.

Published reports show that, compared to previous administrations since 1999, Nigeria’s public
debt has risen the most under Buhari and, under him, foreign debts have grown three times
more than the combined figure by the past three administrations. As of December 2020, the
period for which data is available, the Buhari administration incurred an additional $21.27 billion
over the $28.57 from previous administrations. By the same period, Nigeria’s domestic debt
stood at N16.02 trillion, twice as much the combined amount borrowed by the past three
governments. The foreign and domestic debt figures are higher in the more than two years since
December 2020. Reports from the National Bureau of Statistics show that, in addition to China,
Buhari has also borrowed from France, Germany, India, and Japan.

The scholar Ebenezer Obadare finger the increasing dependence by the Buhari government to
finance its operations as among the many dangers that threaten the foundation of the Nigerian
state. He posits that “[f]or the foreseeable future, Nigeria seems trapped in a recurrent loop of
profligate spending, unfettered borrowing, and cascading revenue.”

Individuals and groups have warned, so far in vain, that massive borrowing puts Nigeria’s future
at risk. These entities include: the World Bank, which warned that Nigeria’s country debt is
“vulnerable and costly”; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which projected that by 2026,
just few years from now, Nigeria may spend nearly 100 percent of its revenue on debt servicing;
and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), a body of private sector leaders, which
warned against what it saw as the prospect of creating “a debt burden for future governments.”

Echoing these gloomy assessments is Kingsley Moghalu, former Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s
Central Bank who, in August 2022, indicted the leadership of the Bank for bowing to political
pressure and “printing money for the government through illegal Ways and Means lending.” In
2021, Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, accused the Nigerian national government of
printing “N60 billion as part of allocation to states for March 2021,” an allegation officials of the
government quickly denied. Keep in mind that in July 2022, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance,
Budget and National Planning, revealed that, at N1.94 trillion, the cost of debt servicing had
surpassed the government’s retained revenue of N1.63 trillion, leaving it N300 billion in the
hole.

On December 30, 2022, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, held a close‐door meeting with
President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential lodge at Aso Rock. The secret meeting came in
the wake of a reported pandemonium in the Senate over a request by President Buhari for a
fresh N23.7 trillion loan in the form of Ways and Means Advances restructuring. The
Organization for Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported that Nigeria sold oil worth $206 billion
from 2015, when Buhari took office, to 2019.

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