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‘Ndigbo, Biafrans themselves have not helped themselves’

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By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA – Reactions are now trailing the declaration of Biafra republic by the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in May, 1967, barely 50 years ago.

Among those who have so far reacted to the situation were the Ogirishi of Igboland, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka and the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, Dede Uzor A. Uzor.

In his reaction, Ezeonwuka stated that the Biafra state remains a Biafra state but that the problem with Ndigbo is that Biafrans themselves have not helped themselves.

According to Ezeonwuka, “If you call yourself an Igboman or a Biafran, you must have heard that only 20 pounds was released to every Igbo man shortly after the civil war, and their properties were forcefully taken away from them in some parts of the country in the name of abandoned properties, yet they managed to survive”.

“However, he continued, it is quite unfortunate that the same Ndigbo who suffered these deprivations have not learnt our lessons from it, to the extent that after surviving the post-civil war trauma, they still went ahead to invest all their monies outside Igbo land where their monies and properties could be abandoned for the second time in the event of another outbreak of war or possible break-up of the country”.

“I presume that Ndigbo cannot be identified as fools with their first mistakes but with this second mistakes of continuing to invest massively in other parts of the country, as they are doing now in their numbers, they can be identified as proper fools and as such, the step could be likened to an Igbo adage which states that first fool is not fool but second fool is proper foolishness”.

“To me, Biafra republic has already been declared by Ojukwu in 1967 and there will be no need for declaration of Biafra for the second time. Ojukwu declared it, fought for it and died for it. There will be no need for a second declaration. All we need to do is to do remembrance anniversaries and befitting burials for those who died during the struggle”.

On General Alani Akinrinade’s open confession that he would not have fought against Biafra if he knew that things would turn this way in the country, Ezeonwuka stated that such a confessional statement amounted to medicine after death or better still, crying over a spilled milk”.

In his own statement, Dede Uzor declared: “Going by the position of the present administration of General Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Nigerian citizens into various strategic positions, Ndigbo remain grossly marginalized and disappointed”.

According to him, “The effect of what led to the civil war remains unresolved till date. For instance, no Igboman is in top four echelon in the strategic security apparatus of the nation, ranging from Chief Of Army Staff, COAS, Chief Of Defence Staff, CDS, Insoector-General of Police, IGP, Director-General of State Security Services, D-G SSS, Specurity Adviser, SSA, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Immigration Service, Prisons Service, NAFDAC, NIMASA, Aviation, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, among others”.

He queried: “Does it mean that no Igboman is qualified or educationally sound to hold such a strategic positions? These are the issues behind the continued agitation of ndigbo for restoration or actualization of Biafra”.

“Since these fundamental issues are yet to be addressed, we in the ECA would want to align ourselves with some prominent Igbo personalities like Dr. Alex Ekwueme, second republic vice president who are in support of Nnamdi Kanu’s continuation with his clamour for the restoration of Biafra”.

We want the Yorubas and other like-minded people, including the South outh to continue to throw their weight and support behind Ndigbo since no individual or group have regretted supporting Ndigbo and I must emphasize that Ndigbo remains trusted allies to any group of individual who wishes to align with them”.

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