By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – A socio-cultural group, Ufedo Foundation of Nigeria, UFN, yesterday, demanded for an open apology from the Biafra agitators of the South East geo-political zone for inclusion of Igala Kingdom of Kogi State in their purported map of a Republic of Biafra.
The group, which described the action as fraud and grave insult to the Igala race, also demanded for immediate retraction of the wrongful inclusion.
Addressing a press conference at New Gate Lodge and Apartment, Maitama, in Abuja, the Trustee of Ufedo Foundation of Nigeria, Dr. Labaran Abalaka, said the inclusion was mischievous since there was no time a meeting was held between the Igalas of Kogi State and the leadership of Biafra agitators to discuss the inclusion of the Igala race in Biafra agenda.
According to him, “Recently, the attention of Foundation has been drawn to a purported map of Republic of Biafra, a copy of which is hereby attached, by agitators from a section of the South East geo-political zone of the country.
“The agitators are glamouring for the creation of a Republic of Biafra out of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the said map, the Igala Kingdom in the Eastern part of Kogi State, in Kogi East Senatorial District was included as forming a part of the said Republic of Biafra.
“Ufedo Foundation of Nigeria wishes to categorically disassociate herself from inclusion of Igala people in the so called map of Biafra.the Foundation is aware that no meeting was held between the Igalas of Kogi State and the leadership of Biafra agitators with a view to discussing the inclusion of the Igala race in the Biafra agenda.
“Neither there has been any discussion, or any contemplation at any time, for the Igalas to move out of the present Nigerian state. For the Biafran agitators to single-handedly carve a map of their envisaged Republic and include the Igala Kingdom—the 9th largest ethnic group in Nigeria amounts to fraud and a grave insult to the Igala race.
“We demand an open apology for the insult, and immediate retraction of the wrongful inclusion.
“The Igalas are satisfied being in Nigeria, and are contended with the present Nigerian state. They are therefore, not contemplating any secession. We will present our own grievances with Nigerian state, if any, and as the situation may arise, through the appropriate channel and at the appropriate time.
“Even though Ufedo Foundation of Nigeria is a non-political and non-partisan, and the Biafra issue may be political in nature depending an individual perspective, we feel obliged to defend our people by doing the needful. We therefore, say capital no to any mischievous inclusion of our land in the Biafra agenda.