ABA—Founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has warned expelled members of the organization to stop using MASSOB to collect money from politicians.
Uwazurike, who stated this through MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Sunny Okereafor, vowed never to compromise his leadership of the organization and the Biafra Independent Movement, BIM, adding that the two organizations have been repositioned to actualize the independent state of Biafra.
According to him: “They should stop using MASSOB to collect money from politicians and the Federal Government. They should stop giving a bad name to MASSOB by working for politicians. This is not the time to collect money and continue deceiving Ndigbo.
“We are freedom fighters; expelled members like Uchenna Madu and other pretenders should stop commercializing the Biafra struggle. I will never compromise my leadership or work with politicians. We have restructured and strengthened MASSOB to actualize Biafra.
“This is why we have now made it compulsory that before you belong to BIM, you must have served in MASSOB for at least five years so that you will be able to understand our non-violent struggle. We have our structures in all the states of the former Eastern region; Biafran elders-in-council, Biafran zonal leaders, Biafran regional administrators and directors.
“We don’t want negotiation; it is either Biafra or nothing. Anybody who collects money from politicians or the Federal Government is on his own. They should stop deceiving Ndigbo. Biafra is the answer.”
The Biafran leader further urged the Federal Government to respect the order of the court and unconditionally release the detained Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, adding that MASSOB will continue to agitate for an independent state of Biafra through its non-violent protest.
“Federal Government should respect the court order and release Nnamdi Kanu. As for MASSOB, we will continue the protest for an independent state of Biafra through non-violent struggle.
Youths slam presidency
Mindful of the danger Kanu’s continued incarceration poses for the unity of Nigeria, an Igbo youth organisation under the aegis of Ohaneze Youth Council, OYC, Worldwide has blasted the Federal Government over the arrest and detention of pro-Biafra agitators, describing their detention as inhuman and anti-peace.
The group observed that appealing to the deadly Boko Haram sect to embrace dialogue, while at the same time killing and maiming the non-violent and peaceful pro-Biafra agitators depict the ethnic agenda of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that it is a clear case of condoning crime against humanity.
In a statement by the Council’s President General, Mr. Francis Oji and Secretary, Board of Trustees, Mazi Okwu Okwu, the group said that the manner the Federal Government is handling the Biafra agitators showed the dishonesty and policy inconsistency.
It therefore called on the Federal Government to toe the path of peace by dialoguing with the Biafra agitators, while calling for unconditional release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Director of the Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, and the leader of the Biafra Zionist Movement, Mr. Ben Onwuka, and others.
The youth organization opined that the release of these detainees would usher in the needed trust that would lead to peaceful resolution of the present logjam.
The group, however, commended the agitators for their humane ideology and encouraged them to remain cool-headed and never abandon the path of non-violence .
“The December 2, 2015 massacre of the Biafra agitators by the military for blocking Niger Bridge head, which was done to make loud statement on their quest for dialogue is highly regrettable and condemnable because protests involving road blocking have been seen in the Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin and Abuja axis of the country and they were greeted with negotiations.
“We call on the Federal Government to show high level of maturity and observance of rule of law in dealing with the protesting Biafra agitators. Government should listen to their genuine requests and agitations for dialogue that are practically the same as to peaceful resolutions.
“Telling the Islamist fundamentalists and terrorists, Boko Haram to stop their merciless killings and crime against humanity and to embrace dialogue while otherwise killing, maiming and detaining the peaceful Biafra agitators is absurd and illogical.”
Toying with the unity of Nigeria
Similarly, the World Igbo Congress, WIC, the umbrella body of Igbo people resident in the United States of America and Canada, has unequivocally condemned the continued incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu by the Department of State Services, DSS, despite the unambiguous order of the Abuja Federal High Court Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, on December 17, 2015, who released Kanu on bail unconditionally by ruling that the continued extra-judicial detention of Kanu, without trial, violated Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 and Section 35 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The WIC also condemned President Buhari’s government use of security agents and members of the Nigerian armed forces to suppress the rights of citizens to freedom of speech and assembly as evidenced in the recent and repeated slaughter of innocent members of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, protesters in Onitsha, Anambra State and the recent killing of hundreds of members of Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, following a procession in Zaria, Kaduna State.
While condemning the recent report attributed to President Buhari, requiring Kanu to denounce his campaign for the actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra as a precondition for his release, in contravention of the courts’ order for Kanu’s unconditional release, WIC also called on President Buhari to address the festering and perennial inequity against the Igbo in Nigeria since the end of the civil war, which has since assumed a disproportionate impunity since he was sworn in as the President of Nigeria on May 29, 2015.
Meantime, an Igbo cultural organisation, Ndigbo Unity Forum, NUF, yesterday, condemned the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu by the Department of State Services, DSS, after the order by the appellate court to release him unconditionally, consequent upon the withdrawal of all the charges against him by the federal government.
In a press statement to newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra State, President of NUF, Augustine Chukwudum said the association has given a 24-hour ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to release Kanu forthwith, failing which they would mobilize Ndigbo all over the world for a mass action against the Federal Government.
According to the statement, “what is happening has shown that Buhari hates Ndigbo and as such, this it the time for Ndigbo to unite and fight the hatred because without unity, we are gone”.
NUF condemned the silence and divisive tendencies of South East governors and National Assembly representatives, who do not stand by Kanu.
In the same vein, the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Anambra State Branch has expressed dismay over the continued slide to blood-letting by the security agents since the commencement of peaceful protest over the continued detention of IPOB leader.
In a strongly worded petition to Governor Willie Obiano, the CLO reminded him that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria places him as the Chief Security Officer of the state while he also swore to uphold the safety and welfare of the people as his topmost priority.
In the petition copied to Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Catholic and Anglican Bishops of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, as well as all the security agencies, the CLO expressed dismay over the recent events in the state where those armed with instruments of coercion mow down innocent citizens in cold blood in the name of controlling violent protests, while their victims are unarmed and defenceless, adding that this situation calls to question, the issue of civility in the Nigerian state.
Igbo safe in Nigeria
But unmoved by the allegations of oppression by the current leadership in Nigeria, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor has assured the people of South East geopolitical zone that there is no attempt by anybody to destroy the Igbo, insisting that Igbo people are safe in any part of Nigeria.
Addressing reporters at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, Bishop Ezeokafor said that contrary to the growing disenchantment in Igbo land that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government was operating anti-Igbo agenda, the president has not done anything to portray him as a sectional leader.
According to Bishop Ezeokafor, Igbo were merely being envied by other people because of the special talents God endowed them with.
The cleric rather blamed the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country on poor management of the nation’s vast resources by past leaders, expressing hope that things would eventually normalize.
He said: “If we had used our resources well in the past, the current economic crisis we are into as a country wouldn’t have occurred.”
The Catholic clergy urged Christians to show love to their neighbours by forgiving and reconciling with those they are aggrieved with, emphasizing that Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, should usher in a new life of reconciliation with one another