From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri, and JEFF AMECHI AGBODO, Onitsha
Various groups agitating for independent state of Biafra in Southeast Nigeria have sounded a note of warning to leaders and governors from the zone to forget their calls for a president of Igbo extraction either in 2019 or 2023. They said they are only interested in Biafra as a separate state and not the nation’s presidency.
The Founder of Biafra Independent Movement/ Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign state of Biafra, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike says that the actualisation of the state of Biafra is the ultimate and the only aim of Ndigbo, which could not be supplanted with the presidency of Nigeria.
Uwazuruike who started the renewed agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra in 1999 with his founding of MASSOB, reiterated that what Ndigbo wants is their own independent state and would not be deflected from that objective.
“Ndigbo wants Biafra and nothing more , that is why the agitation since 1999 in which we have made heavy sacrifices both in human and material and even if they give Ndigbo the presidency of Nigeria, it would not stop us from asking for Biafra.
He added, “our ultimate goal is to actualise the sovereign state of Biafra no matter how long it takes us to do that but surely Biafra must be a reality. Today , if you ask any Igbo man or woman they will tell you that they want Biafra and not the president of Nigeria because they are already fed up with the injustice, inequality and discrimination against them simply because they are Igbo”
The BIM/MASSOB leader stressed that the agitation for the independent state of Biafra is already before the international community and the United Nations and that there is no going back on it.
On its part, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) also said that they don’t want president of Nigeria either in 2019 or 2023, adding that such dream will only make Ndigbo to remain in perpetual slavery. It stressed that Biafra restoration is the only way to guarantee freedom, liberty, justice and equity for the Igbo race.
Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful in his reaction vowed that the group will not abandon the struggle for Biafra because it was God’s project and would soon manifest.
According to Powerful, “We do not want Igbo presidency as that would mean another 104 years of slavery in Nigeria. IPOB would like to state for the avoidance of doubt that God in heaven will destroy Biafra land out of anger should we do anything to renew the British created contraption by acceding to the frivolous demand to accept Igbo presidency.
“Our fight is about freedom, liberty, justice, honour and dignity not political power in Nigeria. Nothing and absolutely nothing will ever make IPOB abandon the quest for the total liberation of Biafra land.
“IPOB will not accept any presidency because that will mean remaining in a failed artificial contraption designed more or less as a business centre to cater for the needs of the British. On no account must we acquiesce to the clamour for Igbo presidency because to us it makes no meaning.
“There will be no Igbo presidency, therefore the agitation will continue regardless of what the slavish class of Abuja errand boys in Igbo land and beyond decide. Our movement has assumed the dimension of a revolution and it will be unwise of any Igbo man to even accept to run for presidency because the level of rejection such person or persons will face cannot be understood until it’s experienced. Any Igbo man that puts Igbo presidency before Biafra is finished with no possibility of redemption in this life.
“Every right thinking Biafran, be they Igbo or so-called Niger Delta that doesn’t subscribe to the coming of Biafra will be quickly forgotten by history. What we want is total freedom from the neo-colonial shackles of Britain operated by Hausa Fulani. A country that has crude oil coming out of the ground for free, yet cannot generate electricity is not worthy to exist as a corporate entity.”
Speaking in the same direction, Elder Michael George Umoren, the President of Bilie Human Rights Initiative says that no reasonable Igbo man would ask for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.
He said that the group is already in court with the Nigeria Federation for self- determination and that any Biafra person clamouring for the presidency of Nigeria is not serious.
According to him, “don’t forget that Billie Human Rights Initiative is already in court with the Nigeria Federation for the self-determination of Biafra and it would be an arrant nonsense for anybody who is a Biafran to clamour for an Igbo to be the president of Nigeria.
“Our organization is not interested in anything other than the sovereign state of Biafra and our position has not changed. What we need is total independence and freedom from Nigeria and not to be the President of Nigeria, simple”