From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
LEADER of Biafra Independence Movement (BIM), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has said despite incarcerations and plots to clampdown on pro-Biafra agitators, the struggle for self-determination of Biafra state has continued to wax stronger by the day.
He recalled that several attempts on his life were made for him to abandon the struggle, saying rather than the struggle to die, it has increased and continued to wax from strength to strength.
This was even as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) described the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates by the British colonial masters as the worst mistake ever made.
Uwazuruike, who spoke through his Director of Information, Mr. Chris Mocha as part of activities to mark the 17th anniversary of MASSOB in September, attributed the successes recorded by the movement to God.
According to him, when MASSOB started in 1999 before it metamorphosed to BIM, nobody gave the group any chance of survival as people felt that the clamour for the resuscitation of new Biafra would fizzle out the next day.
Uwazuruike lamented the killing of members from May 23, 2000 after his declaration of Biafra in Aba, Abia State, saying between May 23, 2000 and May 22, 2013, the group lost about 3,006 of its members even as unrecorded casualty figure may be close to this number, yet the struggle has refused to die.
According to him, “they also destroyed my cars in Lagos and confiscated my 3 Sports Utility Vehicle, BMW motorcycle and a Yamaha generator, all in a bid for the former Imo State governor to win the heart of his Abuja political masters for a second term.
BIM’s leader alleged that because of his refusal to pay N5 million police protection fee to the former director in Imo State, he was advised to leave the country and go on exile.
“But when I refused to go on exile, there were regular invasions of my residence and MASSOB secretariat by security agencies, yet the struggle refused to die.”
Uwazuruike, who decried the unprofessional conduct of Nigerian security agencies in managing separatist agitation, said the blood of the dead activists who died in active service have promoted the Biafra struggle because so many things promote a genuine agitations,” he stated.
IPOB which described the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates by the British colonial masters as a mistake, also condemned the incessant killing of Christians in northern Nigeria and the attack by Fulani herdsmen disguised as cattle rearers on people in some states in Nigeria.
A statement by the Media and Publicity Officer of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful said the most despicable moral crime in world history was committed when Lord Lugard and his fellow ‘British’ decided to join the Southern and Northern protectorates as one country.
“Hundreds of thousands of our people were massacred and their shops set ablaze,” he lamented.