By Chidi Nkwopara & Chinonso Alozie, OWERRI.
A passionate appeal has gone to the United Nations, UN, to arrange and conduct a referendum soonest, to ascertain the willingness or otherwise of the people to be part of an independent Biafra.
The Owerri Zonal Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and a member of the organisation’s Elders Council, Chief Canice Anujuru and Chief Okechukwu Nwogu respectively, made the plea during a news conference in Owerri, to mark the 17th anniversary of the birth of MASSOB.
“Conducting this all important referendum for the independence of Biafra is long overdue. Biafrans earnestly await this exercise”, Anujuru said.
While recalling that “the UN granted MASSOB observer status since 2000”, Chief Anujuru also pointed out that “since then, MASSOB has been prosecuting its campaign for the independence of Biafra in a non-violent manner”.
He expressed regret that despite the group’s non-violent posture, “the Nigerian government and its security agencies had mindlessly killed, maimed, arrested, detained and prosecuted several pro-Biafra agitators over the years”.
Answering a question, Chief Anujuru blamed the current economic hardship sweeping across Nigeria on the on-going frustration of Biafran independence, by the Nigerian government.
“The current suffering faced by Nigerians is because the Nigerian government has refused to support the freedom of Biafran people. The current economic recession has divine connotation”, Anujuru reasoned.
The MASSOB leaders also warned that “until Biafran people are granted freedom, things will continue to go wrong in Nigeria”.
On how MASSOB loyalists would mark the event, Anujuru said there would be rallies in every major town in Biafran territory, stressing that “the celebration will enable members appraise our gains and challenges”.
Speaking also, Chief Okechukwu Nwogu regretted that “the bulk of the revenue used in running the affairs of Nigeria comes largely, from the Eastern Region”.
While saying that the celebration will commence September 13, 2016, Nwogu however added that Biafra was all about the past and future of the people.
He commended Chief Ralph Uwazuruike for “his foresight and commitment in promoting the Biafran agenda, especially the non-violent posture in the struggle for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra”.