The Igbo Conscience has carpeted proponents of the recent agitation for Biafra, describing the campaign as self-serving and “about bread and butter.”
In a press conference in Lagos, Wednesday, the group said the reluctance of Igbo leaders across Nigeria to speak on the agitation had enabled “charlatans” and politicians to create the impression that a majority of Igbo people are in solidarity with the agitators.
“Let us state the obvious: neither Nnamdi Kanu nor his followers have the mandate of the Igbo people. They were never elected,” said Monday Ubani, Chairman of the group.
“To the best of our knowledge, they did not consult Ndigbo on their agitation for Biafra which led to Mr. Kanu’s arrest and detention on suspicion of threats of terrorism, kidnapping, ethnic and religious incitement, and waging of war against the people and government of Nigeria.
“If anything, the youngsters calling for Biafra appear to be tools in the hands of failed politicians.”
Over the past few weeks, there had been agitations across some cities in the southeast for a sovereign state of Biafra.
The protests, which began in Owerri, spread to Aba, Onitsha, Abakaliki, Enugu, as well as Port Harcourt, with the protesters also demanding the release of Mr. Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra, currently being detained by the State Security Service.
Mr. Ubani said the agitators had been brainwashed by their sponsors to believe that Biafra is the solution to their problems.
“The situations in South Sudan and Pakistan come to mind here,” said Mr. Ubani, a former Chairman of the Ikeja chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association.
“While it is possible for any Yoruba man or woman from any state in the South West to serve in any capacity in Lagos, it is extremely difficult if not impossible for an Igbo from one Igbo state to work in another Igbo state.
“A case in point is what happened in Abia State when former Governor Orji sacked all civil servants from Imo, Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi. The same happened in Enugu State when a former governor sacked all the civil servants from Anambra State when Enugu was carved out of the old Anambra State.”
The group noted that the renewed agitation for Biafra particularly in the South-south region had rekindled anti-Igbo sentiment in those areas.
“We note the angry rebuff and exhumation of already buried animosities against Ndigbo in the just efforts of our brothers and neighbours to disown this charlatanism of Biafra,” Mr. Ubani said.
“We state that this is unfortunate and dangerous to Ndigbo and their interest as we reassure our neighbours and brothers that Ndigbo have no interests in acquiring their lands.
“We want to assure our neighbours and friends that Ndigbo have no plan to forcefully conscript them into a fancy utopia as the present agitators seek to do. We appeal that their acts be discountenanced as they do not represent Ndigbo.”
Peter Oparah, the Secretary of the group, said the Biafra agitators do not enjoy majority support of the Igbo people.
“If you read very well and if you follow very well, before IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) carried out their demonstration in Owerri, it took them a lot of time. Because they were seeing ways to ship people from other states to Owerri.
“Igbos are not backing this nonsense and that’s the position of TIC (The Igbo Conscience) and the position of Igbos.”
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