Nwani called on Igbo political elites to ignore the Nigerian Presidency and work instead with the group to establish the Igbo ethnostate of Biafra.
Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Members of the Biafra Independent Movement and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, BIM/MASSOB, a separatist group, on Thursday staged a protest in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, to commemorate the anniversary of its formation.
Zonal leader of the Igbo separatists Mr Collins Nwani, who led the protest that grounded the movement of vehicles along Tombia roundabout, called on Igbo political elites to ignore the Nigerian Presidency and work instead with the group to establish the Igbo ethnostate of Biafra.
According to Nwani, since the end of the Civil War, Nigeria has yet to fulfill any of the promises it made to the Igbo people, saying that the ethnic group has been subject to discrimination and annihilation by successive Nigerian governments.
Nwani, however, repudiated the actions of another Igbo separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which has called for a ‘sit-at-home’ protest on Friday across Igbo majority states in the south-south and southeast, dismissing the move as counterproductive for the negative effect it would have on Igbos.
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“The purpose of our peaceful protest today by members of BIM/ MASSOB, founded by our amiable leader, Chief Ralph Uwazurike on September 13 1999, is to celebrate the 19th year anniversary of formation of BIM/MASSOB. We are celebrating the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra; we are convinced that we have already gotten Biafra. The political elites should come and join hands with BIM/MASSOB and forget about Presidency coming to the Igbo in 2023. Nigeria has failed and the earlier they realise this better. There is no future for the Igbo nation in Nigeria. After the Civil war, the Nigerian government came up with the three Rs to bring the Igbos back into the Nigerian project, but since the war ended none has been achieved. Igbo political elites should not waste their time with Nigeria. For their information, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari himself is aware that Biafra has come to pass,” Nwani said.