Monday, December 28, 2015

S’South Not Part Of Biafra, Kokori Tells MASSOB

Human rights activist and former labour union leader, Chief Frank Kokori, has berated the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra for saying that the South-South is part of the struggle for the creation of a Biafra Republic.

MASSOB had said in a statement on Sunday that “anybody who says that Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Cross River states are not part of Biafra is deceiving himself.”
It said the listed states were Biafran territories and that Biafra comprises all the states of the former eastern region, including the Anioma community in Delta State.
“It has been part of the Federal Government’s policy of divide and rule to tell the world that only the Ndigbo want Biafra; but this is false,” MASSOB said in the statement.

However, Kokori, a former Secretary-General of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, told our correspondent during an interview that MASSOB and other pro-Biafran agitators were jokers trying to exploit the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Kokori, who is from Delta State, said MASSOB and other pro-Biafran groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, were only trying to deceive Nigerians.
The activist wondered how the South-South could be part of their struggle when most of the Igbo living outside the South-East had refused to abandon their businesses in Lagos to join the Biafran agitation at home.
He said the creation of a Biafra Republic could spell doom for the South-East as the geopolitical zone is landlocked and thus not strategic for international commerce.

He said, “During the civil war, there was no South-South. There were the Eastern Region, Midwest Region and Western Region. The Midwest Region comprised Bendel people. The Eastern Region extended to Cross River, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom of today but that was a long time ago.
“So, we in Delta State have never been part of Biafra. Anything that is Biafran today is purely in the South-East which does not include Rivers, Bayelsa , Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
“These states are not part of this new Biafran joke. To me, it is a joke. The Biafra of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a serious issue. What people like Ralph Uwazuruike of MASSOB and Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB are doing is trivialising the serious struggle of Ojukwu.

“They are not even serious; they don’t know what they want. What they want is not viable and so they are just trivialising. Is Biafra today possible with five landlocked South-East states?”
Kokori urged Igbo leaders to caution the pro-Biafran youths who did not understand the implication of their demand.
He, however, urged the Federal Government to release Kanu, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services, for the sake of peace.
He added, “With Igbo people prospering all over Nigeria in places like Lagos, Abuja and even in the North, will they abandon their business and return home? Even if there is a referendum, the pro-Biafrans will not get up to 10 per cent of the votes.

“Most of the Igbo leaders are just keeping quiet. This struggle is a childish and selfish cause being sponsored by opportunists.
“However, the Federal Government should give Kanu a serious warning not to toy with treason again and then release him for the sake of peace.”
Copyright PUNCH.

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