…Biafra, genuine struggle against injustice on Ndigbo — Ogbu
…Only my approach can lead to its actualisation —Uwazuruike
By Vincent Ujumadu, Peter Okutu & Chinonso Alozie
Awka— THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, alleged that some people had been paid to denounce the Biafra struggle with a promise by the Federal Government to accommodate them.
In a statement made available to reporters, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr Emma Powerful, said that while the organisation would not reprimand those he described as erring elders in public as that would be uncharitable, such people, who he failed to name, needed prayers for their deliverance.
This came as Vice President-General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof.Chigozie Ogbu, weekend, declared that the agitation for Biafra by the youths of the south-eastern zone was a genuine struggle against injustice meted against Ndigbo in the Nigerian federation.
Ogbu, who stated this at his residence in Abakaliki, insisted that after the Nigeria civil war, the constitution of the country was drafted to have oppressive tendencies against Ndigbo, seeing Ndigbo as a conquered territory.
This is even as founder of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has said that only his style of approach can lead to the actualisation of Biafra, describing as an act of wickedness, the insinuation that he was a sell-out on the issue of the struggle.
Some people paid to denounce Biafra struggle
According to Powerful in a statement, “we are not bothered by the antics of those who have been paid to denounce our divine journey to the promised land, including the compromised so-called political leaders, the so-called umbrella body and leaders in the comfort zone, who have been promised accommodation in the central government, at their meeting at the Villa, if only they denounce us. We hear that they sheepishly agreed.
“The whole world knows that they shamelessly accepted the deal to disparage us, so they would be rewarded by the Villa. They deserve nothing but our pity and prayers. They are like that proverbial fly, which followed the coffin into the grave. Blinded by their greed, they cannot understand when to apply the brakes.
“They have played the game for too long that they cannot see that the game is over. When you have consistently betrayed your people for filthy lucre for too long, and got away with it, it is usually difficult to realise that one day ,the monkey will go to the market and won’t come back.
“Those who have traded away our future for a pot of porridge will not repent overnight. We must never get tired of praying for them because it is not in our character to insult these elders and clergymen, even when their treacherous behaviour turns out despicable and nauseating. Please, pray without ceasing for these lost elders, we plead.”
Biafra is genuine struggle against injustice on Ndigbo
The Ohanaeze Vice President-General stated that as a result of the frustration among young people, arising from these injustices that led to agitation for independence, the situation has left the country with two options of restructuring or be ready to face agitations, which could degenerate into uncontrollable conflict in the country.
On the clamour for restructuring, he said that though it has come to mean different things to different people and groups, who are interpreting it to fit into their interests, true restructuring, according to him, simply means to amend the supreme law of the land, the constitution, to correct some defects that had promoted injustices, inequality and a sense of exclusion, which has made it difficult for Nigeria to develop into one united, peaceful and progressive nation.
Ogbu expressed dismay that the objectives of the 1999 constitution, which was to provide a constitution for the purpose of promoting good governance and welfare of all persons in the country on principle of freedom, equality, justice and consolidating the unity of the people, is at variance with the content of the constitution whose provisions are full of injustices and inequality that do not promote unity and good governance.
He further posited that no amount of good governance could cure the current agitation for self-determination resulting from marginalisation, because good governance meant implementing the constitution faithfully and since the constitution contains injustices and inequality, there can’t be good governance.
Biafra no longer a word for secession— Ahamba
Meantime, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr Mike Ahamba, yesterday, said the issue of Biafra was no longer a word for those who want to secede but “a word for protest against imbalance in Nigeria.”
Ahamba made this statement to Vanguard in Owerri, while reacting to the current agitations in the country, especially from the South-East zone.
According to him, “the word Biafra is no longer for secessionists or those who want to secede, it is now a word for protest against the imbalance in Nigeria.
“Because we have Biafra in the Middle Belt, South-South, South-West, North-East, among others, they all have their own name. They are those who think that they are not well accommodated in this country. To that extent, I agree with Biafra.”
But he was of the view that the Igbo cannot leave Nigeria for anybody, saying: “To the extent of making me leave Nigeria, I do not agree, I am not leaving this country for anybody because I have invested in it.
“There is nobody who can force me out of this country because I have invested so much. Whatsoever the problem, we shall discuss it, all of us as Nigerians.
“Let me tell you why the sit-at-home order was successful, they put one emotional point in it, honouring the dead, and many stayed at home to honour the dead in the Biafra/Nigeria civil war.
“Let me also say this, it was the Federal Government that created the present impulse by arresting and detaining Kanu against the law. They created sympathy for him.”
Only my approach can lead to Biafra actualisation—Uwazuruike
Speaking in a telephone interview, Uwazuruike insisted that he did not backslide in his pursuit for the actualisation of Biafra as erroneously believed in some quarters.
Uwazurike said: “The impression being created was that someone paid me to stop the struggle. This is unfair. Or do people expect me to start fighting Nnamdi Kanu?Or do people think you are fighting for Biafra when you kneel down in public places to make show? How can anybody hold the view that I am a sell-out?
“I set up Radio Biafra in 1999 and handed it over to Nnamdi Kanu for the good of the struggle, but what did I get in return? Someone I employed used the radio station I set up to blackmail me. Where did I go wrong? And if you were to be Uwazuruike, what will you do under such a situation? If I didn’t set up MASSOB, how could Nnamdi Kanu have had a platform to start what he is doing?”
According to him, only his approach to the struggle is what would ultimately lead to the actualisation of Biafra.
Uwazurike added: “On May 22nd, we organized a ceremony in which over one million people participated in Onitsha and other cities and this was reported by the media. It was the same in Aba, Enugu, Owerri and other cities, yet people are saying that I am backsliding or that I am a sellout.
“Do you also know that I built 20 houses at Okwe, Imo State, for the wounded Biafra soldiers who were begging for alms at Oji River and I pay them salary every month? Today, there are no more Biafra soldiers begging for alms at that spot.
“Only last month, I risked my life to travel to the North for the sake of Biafra and I was at Arewa House in Kaduna where I met people, yet the media and Igbo people do not appreciate my sacrifices. How would you feel if you are to be in my position?”
He, however, said that he would not be deterred because he was sure that he was doing his best to see the struggle to its logical conclusion.