By Anayo Okoli.
UMUAHIA – DR. John Danfulani, a social crusader and activist from the embattled Southern Kaduna has said that the people of Southern Kaduna would prefer and be comfortable to go with the Biafra Republic rather remain with Nigeria where the people were being killed on daily basis with any adequate protection from the Government.
Danfulani who spoke yesterday in Umuahia, when he paid a solidarity visit to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was quoted to have said that “the people of Southern Kaduna share a lot of values in common with Biafrans”, and would not hesitate to follow them “if Nigeria breaks up”.
The former university teacher bemoaned the fate of minority ethnic nationalities in Southern Kaduna who are mostly Christians and lamented government’s indifference to their ordeals following incessant unprovoked attacks by herdsmen.
“If Nigeria breaks up we won’t go with the North. Certainly we will go with Biafra because we share a lot in common. We can form a confederation based on agreement. It is better for us because we are safer in Biafra. In the North, they don’t like us because we don’t pray like them. So, it is better we follow those who share the same faith and values with us”, Danfulani was quoted to have said.
According to him, if the Federal Government failed to heed the clamour for the restructuring the country before 2019, Nigeria might not remain a single political entity.
It was his opinion that Nigeria was amalgamated for British economic and administrative convenience against the people’s wishes, saying there was need for the country to be restructured.
“Nigeria remains the only country in the world where people were merged together because of the economic interest of their colonial masters without their consent. If we fail to restructure now, it may be late after 2019″, he warned and wondered why some people are considered sacred cows in the country while others are treated as second class citizens.
Danfulani who is the Coordinator of the Centrum Initiative for Development And Fundamental Rights Advocacy, CEDRA, frowned at the inability of the security agencies to arrest the Arewa youths who issued quit notice to Ndigbo to live the North.
“Why is it that until today the leaders of Arewa youths who gave a quit notice to Ndigbo are yet to be arrested despite the warrant of arrest? They are parading the streets and nobody has touched them.
“If it is John Danfulani I would have been arrested because I am John. If it were John Danfulani, Governor El- Rufai would have crammed me into prison”, he said and accused Governor El-Rufai of persecuting him because of his faith.
“El- Rufai is after me because I am a Christian and identify with Christian minorities in Southern Kaduna. He is like the White South Africans behind apartheid rule while I am like the indigenous South African people that own the land.
“Is it not a crime to pay terrorists with the state funds? Yet El- Rufai said he is using Kanuda State funds to pay herdsmen massacring Christian minorities in Southern Kaduna and nobody is asking him questions”, he lamented.
According to him, the people of Southern Kaduna had suffered so much in the hands of “those who think they own the North”, jus the same fate of the people of South East in Nigeria.
“We face the same suppression and oppression that the Igbo face in Nigeria. We are hated in the North and we are the target of barbaric attacks by those who are out to extinguish us”, the activist said.
Dr. Danfulani also decried the poor state of infrastructure in the South East particularly roads which he described as the worst in Nigeria. He lamented that Nigeria’s unfair treatment to Ndigbo is the reason for the agitation for self determination.
“I plied the roads down to this place and I saw how terrible they are. I never knew we still have this type of road in Nigeria. The Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway is a nightmare”, he said.
On his visit to Umuahia, Danfulani said it was to show solidarity to Kanu who he described as a God-sent hero championing a just cause.
“I came to show him support for the travails he has undergone. He is pursuing a legitimate cause that is acceptable and guaranteed by the United Nations charter. That is why I have come to encourage him and assure him of our support in Southern Kaduna.
“While he was in detention, I was among those who organised a protest for government to obey the court order to release him. I came for the groups I represent in Southern Kaduna in solidarity with him”, Danfulani said.
In his remarks, Kanu thanked Danfulani for speaking against injustice as well as his efforts in defense of the oppressed and marginalized people of Southern Kaduna and assured him of the full assistance of Biafra to Christian minorities and the oppressed people of Southern Kaduna as well as the Middle Belt.
“Biafra will not abandon Southern Kaduna and Middle Belt”, Kanu promised.