By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—Leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, and founder of Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has called on the Igbo political class to practically jettison the idea of having a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in the face of the current Northern conspiracy against Ndigbo.
He recalled that the same level of conspiracy was used to scuttle the presidential ambition of some prominent Igbo personalities such as former vice president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, a trustee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Reacting in an apparent sympathy to a statement credited to Ekwueme that his three-time presidential ambition was scuttled by the Nigerian military, Uwazuruike stated that Ndigbo should no longer focus their hope on the Nigerian project but on the emergence of a new Biafra.
A press statement issued yesterday, quoted Uwazuruike who spoke through the Biafra Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha at Umuaka in Njaba Local Government Area of Imo state, as sympathizing with Ekwueme and other Igbo leaders who had in the past put up relentless fight, courage and determination to become president but failed to realize such an ambition, just because they were victims of the civil war which ended on the note of reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation but turned out to be retaliation, isolation and maximum hatred for Ndigbo.
Quoting Ekwueme as saying in the statement that: “I was Vice President until December 1983 and going by the old NPN order, I would have contested for the number one position in 1987, but the military intervened in 1983 and the civilian regime was cut short. I tried again in 1998 and Obasanjo was released from prison and he came and won, supported by his colleaques in the military. I tried again in 2003 and the same thing happened.
”I therefore pray that the other people (Igbo) can take it up from there and make progress”, Uwazuruike noted that Ekwueme failed to give Ndigbo any reason or assurance that the same treatment meted on him in successive elections would not be revisited on our younger generation.
He recalled that the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo did not hide his feeling how he thought the Igbo should be treated in the country when he visited Imo State during his first official outing as Head of State in 1978 and told them to thank their god for the generosity of the Nigerian leaders, for not lining them up for execution after the Nigeria – Biafra civil war which ended with no victor, no vanguished.
The BIM/MASSOB leader reminded Ekwueme and Iwuanyanwu how their efforts to emerge as Presidential candidates of their various political parties were thwarted when two Igbo sons were sponsored by the Peoples Demoratic Party, PDP and All Peoples Party, APP to frustrate the chances of Ndigbo from producing a Presidential candidate.
According to him, “the anger which led me to demand the resuscitation of Biafra republic had to do with the soiled relationship between Ndigbo and the rest of Nigerians since the January 15, 1966 Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu-led military coup”.
“The Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba conspiracy against Ndigbo is real and that was why the former Defence Minister, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd) could also not hide his own feeling and hatred for Ndigbo when he made an open declaration that he would go into exile than allowed Dr. Ekwueme to be President of Nigeria”.
“Through MASSOB/BIM, the world has heard clearly the marginalized voice of the Igbo man which wasonly heard in quiet, grumbling and murmuring tone before I started the struggle for Biafra in 1999 and today, the world is waiting for the emergence of the new Biafra Nation”.
“Through me, the world which probably thought that all was well with Ndigbo in Nigeria now knows the Prison wall of injustice the Igbo man is hemmed in Nigeria”.
“My observation is that if the American fathers of Independence who fought the British colonialism status quo in 1775, had allowed themselves to be derailed out of their vision through patronage and ‘settlement’, they would have died and their names forgotten few years afterwards.