FROM CHUKWUDI ANYANWU
The apex Igbo socio –cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has dissociated itself from the activities of the Biafra agitators, who have been protesting in many cities in the South East and South –South, saying that Biafra died in 1970 with the surrender by General Philip Effiong, to the Nigerian troops.
Addressing reporters in Awka yesterday, the chairman, Forum of State Presidents of Ohaneze in the seven Igbo –speaking states, Dr. Chris Eluomunoh said that no right thinking person would support what he called the madness by some youths, who were being deceived to engage in something they cannot finish.
According to him “You will notice that Ohaneze has been very silent on the issue of Biafra insurgency, though the youth wing of Ohanaeze has been speaking on it. Ohanaeze, as the Igbo cultural group, cannot support Biafra and we dissociate ourselves from it totally.
“Igbo people have contributed so much in the development of Nigeria and we cannot allow some people to jeopardise the lives and efforts of millions of Igbo people residing in all parts of Nigeria.
“We believe that anybody who has any issue to settle with the federal government should use dialogue and that is why we participated in the last National Conference. No sane Igbo person would want to witness a repeat of the kind of thing that happened during the Nigerian civil war.
“Ojukwu, who led the Biafra war, returned to Nigeria from exile and contested elections in Nigeria, which showed that he was fully integrated in Nigeria and was a full- fledged Nigerian before he died.”
Eluomunor denied the speculation that politicians of Igbo extraction were supporting the Biafra agitation, adding that their support comes mainly from outside the country.
He however observed that part of the reason for the agitation was the dearth of infrastructure in Igbo land and pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to address the infrastructural decay in the area.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has decried what it described as the nonchalant attitude and insensitivity of many Igbo people residing in northern and western parts of the country towards the Biafra struggle.
The National Director of Information, MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu advised Ndigbo residing outside Igboland to return to their home land, re-establish their business and investment back to Igboland.
“We have decided and promised to provide adequate security of lives and property in Igboland . MASSOB shall defend Igboland with our blood, valour and enthusiasm. It is our unflinching service to our fatherland. MASSOB has vowed to root out kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal tendencies in Igboland because there is no place in Nigeria like Igboland.
“Nigeria is a state where others are first class citizens but treat the Igbo as second class citizen, a state where others are born to rule but treat Igbo as perpetual outcasts, a state where state policies deliberately deny Igboland critical developmental infrastructure”, the MASSOB spokesperson lamented.