Following recent protests stirred up by pro-Biafra supporters, the Ohaneze Ndigbo has advised President Muhammadu Buhari on how to avert an impending crisis brewing in the southeast.
In order to prevent the crisis in the southeast from escalating any further, the Ohaneze Ndigbo has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to talk with members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), and the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and other agitating groups from the region.
The Igbo group said genuine and sincere talks were the only way to achieve sustainable peace within the region.
Hon Darmian Okeke Ogene, the group’s national treasurer, said the Igbo group’s agitation was a right that had been exercised successfully over and over across the globe.
Ogene, who spoke with newsmen in Awka, the Anambra capital, warned that: “The suppression of the right and intimidation of harmless agitators could be followed with defiance, which if not well managed may degenerate to catastrophe.”
He suggested that the agitation came on the heels of the government’s neglect of the former head-of-state General Yakubu Gowon’s promise of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation.
The Ohaneze Ndigbo chief recalled that the agreement was initiated after the 30-month Nigeria-Biafra civil war in 1970.
“The agitation will continue; the youths, especially, believe their future is under threat. They lost their parents during the war, growing up having nobody to carter for them. As such, they have lost all hope of being part of the Nigerian nation,” He said.
Ogene said Ohaneze Ndigbo had no control over MASSOB, IPOB and other pro-Biafra activists.
He insisted that every group had the right to agitate as granted by the United Nations charter.
Meanwhile, MASSOB has vehemently denied allegations made by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo that the struggle for an autonomous republic of Biafra had been converted to an avenue to defraud naive members of the public.