From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force (NDPSF), Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, has insisted that Biafra is an Ijaw entity which does not belong to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
Dokubo, who spoke in a television interview monitored in Yenagoa, said an Ijaw man, Frank Opigo, gave the name Biafra which was adopted by the Eastern region and was used in 1967 when the Republic of Biafra was declared.
“Ijaws are divided between the Bight of Benin and Bight of Biafra. We are the owners of Biafra. Biafra is an Ijaw name. The territory identified as Ijaw is Biafra with parts of Ibiobio and Oron. The real Biafra, the geographical location of Biafra is Ijaw. Then in 1967, the Eastern Consultative Assembly was convened in Enugu and then Frank Opigo, an Ijaw man, moved the motion that Biafra should be adopted as the name and it was accepted. And on May 30, the Republic of Biafra was declared which included the eastern region within our territory, so Biafra has nothing with Igbo,” he said.
Dokubo, who challenged anybody to contradict the historical fact, said the late Ijaw revolutionary, Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, mentioned it in his book, the 12-day Revolution, that he was Biafra long before the Republic of Biafra was created.
Meanwhile, Ijaw National Congress (INC), apex body of the Ijaws, has warned IPOB against further verbal attacks on elder statesman and foremost Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark.
INC spokesman, Oyakemeagbegha Ezonebi, reacting to comments attributed to the IPOB which criticised Clark for warning IPOB not to include the Niger Delta in the map of Biafra, said Clark spoke the minds of the people
Ezonebi, who wondered what IPOB had expected Clark to say concerning the unthinkable inclusion of Niger Delta in the dream Biafra, said even a toddler in Niger Delta would reject the proposal because there was no way it could add up.
He said the elder statesman had always been a major stakeholder in Niger Delta affairs and a strong voice, adding that he was eminently competent to speak on behalf of the region.
Ezonebi, while warning that the Ijaw nation, which the INC represents, would not tolerate any further insults to its national leader, said the Ijaws were not against any secessionist group as long as its activities does not infringe on the rights of others.