Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has said the Igbo will not use the platform of any separatist group, including the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), to pursue the Igbo agenda.
Okorocha, who distanced Southeast governors and leaders from the pro-Biafra groups, said the zone did not need an armed struggle associated with militia groups to attract economic and infrastructural development.
The governor, who spoke at a breakfast meeting with reporters, noted that the zone’s setbacks could not be addressed by antagonising the North and West, but by mutual cooperation and support for the All Progressives Congress-led (APC) Federal Government.
His words: “The Igbo will not use the agitation for Biafra as a platform to negotiate the place of Ndigbo, but will support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to attract the dividends of democracy that eluded us in the past.
“We should try to jettison religious sentiments and support President Buhari. The Igbo will not use Biafra as a front; we condemn those agitating for Biafra because that is not Ndigbo’s need”.
But the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has said agitation for Biafra is a plan ‘B’ action promoted by pro-Jonathan forces to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Sani, who spoke during an interaction with reporters in Kaduna yesterday, said: “The new agitation for Biafra is a misguided, ill-conceived and ill-fated course.
“The Biafra agitation is a new attempt to destroy the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, to ignite a national conflict and cause chaos, pandemonium and confusion. It is not reflective of the interest and generality of the Igbo people.”
The senator said the Igbo had made progress since the civil war, adding that their future was better guaranteed and sustained within a united Nigeria.
Sani said: “Those attempting to wake up the Biafran course are of three categories. The first are young men with no knowledge of the tragedy, suffering and hardship Nigerians endured during the Civil War. The second category are desperate forces hiding behind the Biafran agitation to undermine our national unity and destroy theMuhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“And the third group are simply warmongers, who want crisis in an era of peace and progress. So, I will say this in clear terms: Nigeria is an indivisible entity and we have since gone beyond the Civil War.”
The people of the Southeast, Sani said, had the right within the ambit of the constitution to demand to be recognised and respected as equal partners in the Nigerian project.
He cautioned that their agitation must, however, be within the ambit of respect for the indivisibility of Nigeria and the constitution.
”As long as we realise the change agenda, entrench good governance and run an all-inclusive government, the Biafran agitation will naturally fizzle out.
“Nigerians must be patient with the President Buhari’s administration. It is wrong for people to accuse him of not performing, taking cognisance of the rot in the last 16 years.
“We have no reason to give excuses and lament the problems of Nigeria when Nigerians are desirous of change and progress,” Sani said.
Source: The Nation