There have been many twists in the moves by some groups in the South Eastern Nigeria to carve our a sovereign state called Biafra.
The aggigation for the actualisation of Biafra as an independent
nation is currently being coordinated by the Indigenous People of
The Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Biafran Zionist Movement, among others, have continued to play certain roles in the sustainance of the push for a Biafran republic.
However, another group in the region, Ohaneze Ndigbo and its youth wing have been accused of plots to thwart the efforts by the agitators.
Recently, for instance, Ohaneze Ndigbo had demanded the establishment of a South-East Development Commission as a move that would end the agitation for the creation of the Biafra republic.
The socio-cultural organisation made this demand when the National
President of its Youth Wing, Okechukwu Iziguzoro explained that the creation of the commission is to tackle the infrastructure deficit in Igbo land.
He argued that a commission with a mandate similar to the Niger Delta Development Commission, the proposed North-East Development Commission will address current lack of Federal Government presence in the South East geopolitical zone, which was the main reason for the current agitation for the creation of the Biafra republic.
The Ohaneze youths had insisted that the Ndigbo wouldn’t want to leave Nigeria.
But the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra
has accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) of betraying the people of the South East zone through its claims that Ndigbo do not want an independent nation of their own and would remain in a united Nigeria.
MASSOB in a statement by it’s National Director of Information, Sunny Okereafor described OYC a misguided organization who have decided to close their eyes to the years of marginalisation of Ndigbo in Nigeria, including the treatment of its people as second class citizens in a country which they are one of the major stakeholders.
Okereafor disclosed that MASSOB had uncovered plans by the Federal Government and the enemies of Ndigbo to sponsor some Igbo youths to protest against Biafra, stressing that with the activities of OYC, it had no doubt that the group is up to mischief with the manner it has castigated the Biafra struggle.
“MASSOB is worried by the activities of this group which calls itself
Ohanaeze Youth Council Worldwide led by one Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro.
“We have continued to watch with dismay how a purported Igbo group could lend itself as a willing tool against the interest of Ndigbo. What does the Ohanaeze Youth Council seek to achieve by its suspicious visit to Northern monarchs and politicians?
“How many times had the Ohaneze Youths led by Okechukwu Isiguzoro spoke against the killing of pro-Biafra agitators, the non appointment of Ndigbo to higher political offices and the branding of Ndigbo as second class citizens?”, MASSOB queried.
The same Ohaneze group have been accused by the Indigenous People of Biafra and the operators of Radio Biafra of stopping a United Nations plan to certify Biafra republic during a recent visit by Whitemen to the region.
In the midst of controversies, Pope Francis last Sunday at the
Vatican, during his Angelus address from his balcony at the Apostolic
Palace, publicly welcomed and greeted IPOB members who thronged the
city, adding a new angle to the agitation for a Biafra republic.
The Catholic Pontiff was reported to have cautioned their oppressors, the Nigerian government and its military, as well as their agents to repent and stop killing Biafra agitators or face the wrath of God which will be catastrophic.
According to a text of the Catholic Pontiff’s address to the Biafra
agitators, the Pope advised the Biafra members and the crowd that
gathered at St Peter’s Square to be patient in all they are doing,
that God’s patience towards their oppressors is without limit but the
time to end their oppression is now.
IPOB quoted the Pontiff to have said that “it is never too late to
convert an oppressor to change from his evil activities, including
murderous activities, but it is urgent, it is now, let them begin
today to change from their oppression and killing of innocent people
through all sorts of violent means, including the jack boot of the
According to the text, the Pope spoke on “invincible patience,”
explaining how God’s “unyielding concern for sinners” should provoke
patience in us, asking if we have thought of God’s patience.
“Have you thought of His unyielding concern for sinners, how this
should provoke patience among people, including governments, instead
of killing people on slightest provocation or no provocation at all,
let alone people who are protesting against unfair treatments or for
something they feel is their right?”
The Pope told them that God does not permit tragedies to punish sins,
adding that if the oppressors of peaceful agitators like the Biafra
agitators in Nigeria fail to repent, the wrath of God will be
catastrophic against them.
The Pontiff however welcomed the need to firmly and unreservedly focus on negotiations and dialogue between governments and agitators all over the world including, Biafra agitators and the government of Nigeria, like it was done in Syria which has brought about the current ceasefire in the country, involving government and rebel forces.
“I invite all to pray so that this window of opportunity can give
relief to the suffering people and agitators and encourage the
necessary humanitarian aid, and open the way to dialogue and much
desired peace” he said.
The IPOB explained that it made about 5, 500 calls to Pope Francis who accepted and gave his word to pray for the agitators and talk about
Biafra and its restoration.
The group took its agitation for the release of its leader and
Director of Radio Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to the Pope for him to see the level of killing and injustice meted to its members by the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The IPOB noted that the members “bombarded Pope Francis with 5, 500 calls and the Pope answered the calls and gave his word to make sure he talks about Biafra and its restoration and on Sunday, about 35, 000 Biafra agitators in Europe, Asia and America visited the Pope at Vatican City and the Pope and other Catholic leaders addressed them as Biafrans and prayed for them.
“That was the first time a world leader at that level addressed us
and called us by the name Biafrans and prayed for us.
“We are therefore calling on other church leaders to condemn the evil
of killing innocent protesters and agitators and detention of an
innocent man who did not do anything to break the law of a country we
are not part of, a country that we are demanding for our freedom they
have forcefully taken and upon that, they are killing us for demanding
for our freedom.
“This evil must be condemned by the world leaders and religious
leaders, whom we want to pray for us.
“We urge the Christian leaders, Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglicans
worldwide, World Christian Society, WCS, American Christians to pray for Biafra actualization and freedom. This is the time to stand up for the truth because the Boko Haram members who are killing people on daily basis have not been visited with the type of extrajudicial killings with which this APC government
has visited us,” the group said.
Meanwhile, the detained leader IPOB, Kanu, has consistently declared
that it’s either Biafra or death, rejecting any negotiation for his
release that would have an end to the demand for a Biafra republic as a condition.
But in another twist, MASSOB has condemned what it described as plan by the Norwegian government to illegally deport Lotachukwu Okolie, the detained leader of pro-Biafra agitators in Norway and his counterpart Onyedikachi Ani, also detained, who is married to a Norwegian and has a child with her, and other Biafra activists in the country.
According to a statement by the leader of MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, a plan is allegedly being hatched to deal with Biafra agitating groups.
The statement read: “Norway and Nigeria have already perfected plans of deporting them through chartered cargo airplane from Belgium, to transport them to Lagos on March 9, 2016.
“The information we have is that the Norwegian government have struck a deal with Nigerian Immigrations Service, in Lagos to accept all the deportees and bypass the embassy which knows about their pro-Biafra activities but cooked up lies against them and consider them threat to Nigeria security, which means they will be eliminated on arrival.”
Many unarmed pro-Biafra protesters who were demanding for the
unconditional release of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu have been
allegedly killed by the Nigerian armed forces.
Videos and photographs of the alleged shooting of unarmed Biafra
republic aggitators had gone viral on the Internet in recent weeks.
Some of their decomposing bodies were discovered in a borrow pit in
Aba, Abia State recently.
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