S-East region marginalized since independence – Ohazulike
Former Chairman, Police Service Commission cautions agitators
Ohanaeze Youth Council meets with FG
Treat Ndigbo fairly —Iwuanyanwu

By Anayo Okoli, Nwabueze Okonkwo, Peter Okutu, Ikenna Asomba, Chimaobi Nwaiwu & Ugochukwu Alaribe

ABAKALIKI—THE factional leadership  of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, accused the South-East governors, members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo leaders in the country of betraying the interest and demands of Ndigbo in the current political dispensation.

This came as the Ohanaeze Youth Council  met with the Federal government over detained Radio Biafra  Director, Nnamdi Kanu.

In a statement in Abakaliki, the National Director of factional MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu stressed that the position taken by the Igbo leaders, despite the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu by the Department of State Service, DSS, was a reflection of their inferiority complex and loyalty to their oppressors.

The  statement read in part: “The governors, Ohanaeze and other Igbo leaders have proved that they are not representing the interest and demands of Ndigbo; they have shown their soft mind, inferiority complex and loyalty to our oppressors.

“We shall prove to Nigeria that the Igbo governors, National Assembly members, other Igbo leaders are not truly in charge of affairs in Igboland. DSS is buying time in the long incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu to impress Buhari and northern political cabal that they can frustrate Biafra revolution.

“MASSOB is not satisfied with all the meeting of Igbo leaders on Sunday because it did not attach any seriousness on the plight of Nnamdi Kanu.

“How can revered Igbo leaders waste a whole day in a marathon meeting without discussing our simple demand of Nnamdi Kanu’s release? Are they afraid of northern oligarchy, western alliance with north or President Buhari?

“Long incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu by DSS will only motivate, inspire and increase the morale of Biafran agitators. How long shall they continue to detain an innocent man, who already command the massive respect of Ndigbo even in detention?

“It is worrisome that South East governors met in their usual manner without their South South counterparts where Biafra uprising also holds sway. MASSOB and IPOB members are not demonstrating or protesting against infrastructure decay in Igboland or non-inclusion of Igbo in major political appointments, but the release of our brother, Nnamdi Kanu, who represents the genuine desire of the people of eastern region.”

Call for caution

Worried by the spate of protests, former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke said that irrespective of marginalization of the zone,  there is no justification for the South East to be asking for separate state from Nigeria.

Speaking against the backdrop of the agitation for the actualization of Biafra by  MASSOB and IPOB, Chief Okeke said that although the South East had a very good case for agitation against being marginalized, they s hould present their case lawfully.

Chief Okeke therefore called for the establishment of South East Development Commission, SEDC, to look into the problems militating against the South East development and resolution of issues that cause youth restiveness. He further  urged the agitators of MASSOB and IPOB to hold their governors and National Assembly representatives who were voted to represent them but had represented their pockets responsible for their woes.

Meeting with FG

Meantime, the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, had commenced negotiation with the Federal Government for a political solution to the issues surrounding the protests by IPOB and MASSOB, which will ultimately lead to an unconditional release of the detained leader of IPOB and promoter of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

To this end, the leadership of OYC met with the Federal Government in Abuja, Tuesday, through the Minister of Youth Development, Mr. Solomon Dalong.

According to the National President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the meeting  looked  at political solution to the problem of the agitations of  the pro-Biafra groups and also the release of their leader, Kanu.

The delegation to the meeting held at the Minister’s office, according to Isiguzoro, included the patron of the OYC, Chief M.O. Kanu and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths Development, Mr. Chinyeaka Oha.

Isiguzoro explained that at the meeting with the Minister, OYC urged the Federal Government to release Kanu unconditionally as being demanded by IPOB  and the  Uchenna Madu-led MASSOB at the South East stakeholders’ meeting held in Enugu,  Sunday.

Biafra’s true leadership

However, in the heat of the protests,another group, the Movement for Outright Discontinuation of the Exploitation and Annihilation of Easterners, MODEAE, yesterday, stated that the action of IPOB in agitating for the release of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu and restoration of Biafra was quite justifiable.

MODEAE said  the on-going protest is expected to achieve its main objectives which were the unconditional release of  Nnamdi Kanu and  restoration of Biafra, adding that the protest would not stop, but would continue unabated with a renewed vigour until these two conditions were met.

In a press statement issued yesterday  in Onitsha, the  leader of the group, Mr. Arinze Awogu declared: “As the Biafra protest rages, it is good that we remember the purpose of this quest; what we are struggling to safeguard and why we are so determined to continue to fight for the release of Kanu and the restoration of the independence of Biafra.

“We have borne the brunt of this quest. We have suffered marginalization, deprivation, ostracization and all manner of conceivable deaths in the hands of an enemy that is so cruel, so wicked and has used all manner of weapons to not only cage us as a people and stop us from developing at our own pace, keeping us in a state of arrested development, but has without respite hounded us into detention and daily,  murdering us for daring to ask for our freedom.

“But today, we rise up to recite before the enemy the portion of the Biafran anthem that says “if the price we owe to pay is death, so let us all die without any fear of death.

“Death and its harbingers have ceased to frighten us. We have opted for death instead. Life is now meaningless to us. We consider ourselves dead already and as such, we are not afraid of dying . This protest must go on. It is a battle of homeland and we are putting in our all.

Unending marginalization

In tandem with the claims of MODEAE, Eze Ndigbo of Lagos, Eze Nwabueze Ohazulike has also attributed  the long neglect of the South East by the Federal Government as the reason behind the sporadic demand for the creation of a sovereign Biafra State which has affected economy and social life in the region.

Ohazulike in a statement said that the South East region of Nigeria has been neglected and marginalized since independence, noting that the agitators are reacting to the poor distribution of the country resources which has culminated in the underdevelopment of the region.

“Nobody cares about the South East Zone, we have the highest number of unemployed youths. We have the highest rate of bad roads which is as a result of erosion that has crippled the region. Some communities have been cut off due to flooding and erosion and other natural causes.

“Our people cannot go to the farm again because their lands are no longer safe.”

Treat Ndigbo fairly—Iwuanyanwu

Adding his  voice to the need for peace, elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu urged President Muhammadu Buhari to treat Ndigbo fairly and ensure they find more accommodation in Nigeria in the interest of  the unity of the nation.

Iwuanyanwu who stated this at the Integrated Economic Summit organized by Aka Ikenga  in Aba, Abia state, said Ndigbo are  major shareholders in Nigeria who have paid more sacrifice than any other group to develop the country.

He also  called on President Buhari to shun people who feed him with false reports that Ndigbo hate him.

According to him, “Ndigbo are the major shareholders in Nigeria. If Nigeria is a corporate enterprise, Ndigbo own over 70 per cent equity and deserve to be given their  due. The Igbo man is the only Nigerian who believes in one united Nigeria. This is why you find Ndigbo investing in all parts of Nigeria. We don’t have any problem with Buhari; we respect him but he must shun those who tell him that Ndigbo hate him.”




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