….We prefer restructuring, says ex-police boss
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha and David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Leader of Biafra Independence Movement (BIM), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has said progress is being made to realise Biafra but said the major challenge was how to convince Ndigbo in 1999 that his quest for the new nation would never cause another civil war in the country.
He noted that the situation, which led Ndigbo to fight the 1967-1970 civil war was still prevalent, today.
Uwazuruike, who spoke through his Director of Information, Mr. Chris Mocha said in 2002, the Federal Government thought it fit and converted the dismissal of former-Nigerian soldiers who served in the Biafran army to retirement.
He stated that it was on the heels of BIM’s exposure of crime of injustice against Ndigbo that the government, led by former president Olusegun Obasanjo made an Igbo police officer a Commissioner of Police and appointed Ogbonna Onovo as inspector-general of Police (IGP) and later, in February 2007, Obasanjo made Ambassador Aguiyi-Ironsi (retd) minister of Defence (Army) three months to the exit of his administration and 32 years after the civil war.
The BIM leader said it was the courageous approach of MASSOB to the Biafran struggle for independence that encouraged the Justice Eze Ozobu-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo who made a bold representation to the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Commission on Human Rights where Ohanaeze demanded, among others, N8.7 trillion “compensation for the many years of injustice against the Igbo.”
Meanwhile, former chairman of Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke has called for restructuring of the nation into six zones with full integration of Ndigbo.
This was just as he called for the release of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
He said it was unfair to continue to detain Kanu, who has been in detention since October 2015.
Chief Okeke explained that even though he does not believe in a separate state of Biafra, the federal government should dialogue with IPOB, just like with militants in Niger Delta, to understand their grievance.
“It is marginalisation that leads to agitation for self-determination. For me, we should be asking for full integration of Ndigbo in the comity of Nigerian nations.”
We need real and more participation in governance and the country has to be restructured into six zones. I say no to government of exclusion,” he concluded.