By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA —Leader of Biafra Independence Movement/Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, BIM/MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, yesterday, insisted that Biafra Republic would be actualized without anyone firing a gunshot.
According to him, the long awaited breakup of the Nigerian state would take its natural course at the appropriate time.
Uwazuruike, who spoke at Onueke community in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State while presiding over a joint meeting between members of BIM and MASSOB in Ebonyi Central Zone, said any attempt to break up Nigeria through violence would not work because, according to him, any house that was not built on a strong foundation would not stand the test of time.
Represented by the BIM’s Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, Uwazuruike disclosed that the first procedure any tribe or section that wanted independence should follow, was to first notify the United Nations, UN, of its desire to separate, just like he did in September1999 during the formation stage of MASSOB.
Uwazuruike recalled that after he notified UN of his intention to carve out Biafra from Nigeria through an application for the world body to play an observer status, he followed it up with a request for a Biafra Bill of Rights on November 1, 1999, attaching several other submissions regarding the atrocities allegedly being committed against Ndigbo by the Nigerian government.
He explained that it was on the strength of those submissions he made to the UN that its former Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, intervened to seek his release when he was arrested in year 2000 for attending the African heads of state meeting in Lome, Togo.
According to Uwazuruike, “I trained myself properly for the Biafra struggle. After I was called to the Nigerian Bar as a lawyer, I spent another 10 years studying the principles of non-violence in India, knowing full well that the only panacea for the achievement of self-determination for Biafra is non violence.
“I later spent additional 10 years working with the former head of state of the defunct Biafra, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. For this reason and with my constant persuasion based on truth, Ndigbo have always listened to us. This non-violent approach is what Mahatma Ghandhi of India called Satyagraha in Indian language.”