By Chidi Nkwopara
Protagonist of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, on Monday, gave an insight into why he founded the group.
Chief Uwazuruike, who spoke exclusively with Vanguard in Owerri, also said that whatever success the group has so far achieved in the struggle, came from God.
“In 1999, when I floated MASSOB in Lagos, I took into consideration the travails of Ndigbo in Nigeria, so many years after the civil war. I took into consideration the Aburi Accord that was not implemented. I also took into consideration the 3R, reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation, that was jettisoned by the Federal Government of Nigeria”, Uwazuruike said.
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According to the MASSOB leader, one other thing that further cemented his resolve to start the agitation for Biafra, was when the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, denied Ndigbo their constitutional right of being appointed as one of the service chiefs, in 1999, irrespective of the fact that Ndigbo voted massively for him in the election.
“I came to the conclusion that Ndigbo are no longer wanted in Nigeria. Many of my people saw reasons with me and joined in the cause. And with continued and unabated humiliation of Ndigbo in Nigeria, many more continued to join wherever they found themselves. That is why MASSOB is found all over the world. Today, Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, has also been floated”, Uwazuruike said.
On the recent democratization of their organization, Uwazuruike explained that it was aimed at showing their unflinching belief in democracy and rule of law.
“We now have the semblance of executive, judiciary and legislature. We also believe in the growth of institutions rather than human beings. Our members are restricted to the institutions. These institutions are built with the doctrine of nonviolence”, Uwazuruike said.
He stoutly denied the allegations making the rounds in some quarters that the organization has a military arm.
“We do not have a standing army, police, air force, navy and indeed, no paramilitary outfit anywhere in the world. Those making such dirty allegations are simply ignorant. What propels us is the determination that by the grace of God, Biafra will be a sovereign state in no distant time”, Uwazuruike said.
Answering a question on what will happen in 2020, the BIM-MASSOB leader said the group’s non-violent government will take off.
“Just like in Scotland, Spain and other places, Biafra is a nation-state in Nigeria. The only difference between Biafra and other Independent countries is sovereignty. Biafra is a country in Nigeria. Although we are not yet Independent, but through our non-violent disposition, sooner or later, by the grace of God, sovereignty will come”, Uwazuruike said.