Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Niger Delta people Declares Support For Biafra

Comrade Joseph Evah, the national coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, has recalled that the Niger Delta people were against the Igbos during the civil war but are now ready to support them in their agitation for an independent Biafra state.

In an interview with Vanguard, Evah said the Niger Delta people made amends by participating in the burial of the late Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu who championed the Biafra civil war. He said the Igbos had forgiven the Niger Delta people which was why they were supporting them in their agitation.

There have been protests over the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra by security operatives. There has also been renewed agitation for an independent state.

The Ijaw leader said: “The way the federal government is handling the Biafra agitation in the east is very dangerous. They are taking the wrong steps by ignoring the agitations that are going on. For the first time since the end of the civil war, we are seeing an organised agitation. The Igbo man cannot ordinarily abandon his business for something else, but now we are seeing Igbo men leaving their businesses in order to agitate.

That tells you that they are serious. Seeing them sacrificing their time, energy and money, should be enough to make the federal government interested in the matter.  Threats by the army are not acceptable. We expect the government to tell us why they are detaining Kanu. Intimidation did not work when we had our Kaima Declaration during the military era. When they threatened us, we became resilient.”

On whether the Igbo people have a right to protest, he said:

“Yes, the Igbo have something to protest against just as the Ijaw man has something to protest against. Why are they denying the Igbo the right of seeing their son, who was arrested? They can’t be denied that right. I went to court to stop the dredging of the River Niger during the military era because there was no environmental assessment. The government under Abacha awarded the contract through the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF. I went to my lawyer, Femi Falana and we stopped the dredging through legal process.

If the government had not obeyed the judiciary on the matter, we would have resorted to other alternatives which would not have been in the interest of the government. I questioned the justification for wanting to have a sea port in Baro in Niger state, while our ports in Warri, Koko and Akasa were moribund.”

Read rest of the interview here

One week ago, Evah advised the federal government not to use force on pro-Biafran protesters.