By Dennis Agbo
Ex-BIAFRA Air force personnel, Chief Peter Ezeliora has warned present agitators for restoration of Biafra republic, particularly the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, that they were endangering the lives Ndigbo residing outside Igboland.
Ezeliora went ahead to fault the agitators coloration of Biafria as exclusive to the Igbo, noting that Biafra belongs to all people of former Eastern Nigeria.
He also warned that Nigeria was drifting to a militia state, with different ethnic nationalities adopting its own brand of militia for security purposes.
Ezilora who said he participated actively in all the major Biafra air force operations, including the lifting of General Odumegwu Ojukwu to Ivory Coast spoke exclusively with Vanguard in Enugu, Tuesday, as part of the commemoration of the 50 years remembrance of the end of Nigeria civil war.
He said: “Originally, Biafra was not an Igbo affair alone. That was why we had Ojukwu as head of state, Effiong as his deputy, N.E Akpan as his Secretary and another person from Rivers. That was Eastern region.
“Unfortunately, these young people have made it an Igbo affair, endangering the lives of Igbo people leaving outside Igbo land. It is very dangerous. Sometimes I stop listening to them because they are so abusive and tell lies to play on young men’s emotion.
“Unfortunately we have lost our politicians of Igbo extraction who were friends to the rest of Nigerians. After the war, it was not a surprise that in the first civilian dispensation, all the five political parties then (1979) either had an Igbo as a presidential candidate or had one as vice president. Even in UPN, Awolowo had Oyibo Odinamadu, a woman, as running mate.
“But now with this agitation, do they even know that every country have armed forces? When we declared Biafra, we had men that constituted Biafra armed forces. Now, all the Biafra land or Igbo land are occupied by people who are not Igbo in army and in police.
“Now you have nothing. They don’t even know what a country is its armed forces and if you don’t have the armed forces, you better go into the bush, you are a terrorist.”
Ezeliora dismissed the possibility of Nigeria going into another civil war, saying it will be very catastrophic because of the way different ethnic nations are building militia groups.
“Every tribe has is its own militia and militia war is war within the people, where they don’t wear uniform, you cannot identify who is who. Robbery, kidnapping make up their weaponry; it’s a dangerous situation.
“I am appealing that it should be stopped. All the senior military officers who are still alive and who fought the war should bring back love and unity. We will regret it if we lose our peace. People who have not seen war don’t know that war damages family, damages the foundation of a nation and I don’t like the way they are going about it,” he cautioned.