By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI — The protagonist of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, BIM-MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has said that Ndigbo were no longer comfortable with the incessant killing of their members across Nigeria.
Uwazuruike stated this when he virtually addressed the General Assembly of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation, UNPO, commending them for accepting Biafra as a member.
“Although we are no longer comfortable with the incessant killing of Ndigbo across Nigeria, we will however, stoutly resist the temptation to resort to armed conflict.
“We will rather explore peaceful negotiations to realise our sovereign status agenda,” Uwazuruike said.
Uwazuruike explained that the marginalisation and killing of Ndigbo made him to travel to India to understudy the approach of one of the world’s foremost non-violent nationalists, Mahatma Gandhi.
After giving a graphic account of what led to the 30-month fratricidal war (Civil War), Uwazuruike said the then military governor of Eastern Nigeria, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, opted to secure his people’s lives and property and in that process declared Biafran Independence.
His words: “As soon as Ojukwu did that, the entire people of Nigeria joined to fight the people of the eastern states.
“They barricaded the entire region and starved the region of food. They suffocated the entire region. We lost over 3,000,000 people between 1967 and 1970, when the war ended.
“After the war, the killing of our people continued unabated in Nigeria. Recently, Boko Haram and herdsmen have taken the centre stage and unleashing high scale terrorism against our people.
Biafran secessionist agenda, which I am heading, is a different non-violent organisations. But the Federal Government keeps clamping down on them and killing them at will.
“We are excluded from anything governance in Nigeria, but the most important one to us is security. We were constrained in 1999, to form the MASSOB.
“BIM-MASSOB’s motive is to disengage Biafra from Nigeria through non-violence because we are no longer willing to sacrifice the lives of our people in Nigeria.
“I feel that instead of resorting to war and coming back for peace talk, we have to pursue the line of peace without going to war.
“I cannot recall how many times I was incarcerated in jail. I have been charged for treason on many occasions. Our office in Okigwe was burnt by the Federal Government.
“The essence of Biafra joining the UNPO is to let the world hear our voice and our cries and through the UNPO. We believe that our rights will be safeguarded,” Uwazuruike added.