Biafra is not dead, will never die – MASSOB replies Obasanjo
The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), on Monday, told former President Olusegun Obasanjo that 'Biafra is not dead and will never die'.
Obasanjo, while presenting a paper entitled: 'Resurgent Biafra Agitation: Born in Error, Ignorance and Frustration,' at a public discussion on Biafra, organised by Nextier Advisory in Abuja, on January 15, had said Biafra was a dead issue.
The former president dismissed the current agitation for the resurrection of the Biafra secessionist agenda as a hopeless and futile exercise.
Advising Nigerians, especially the people of the South-East, not to take the pro-Biafra agitators seriously, Obasanjo said, 'No right-thinking person who has experienced the horror of war will ever agitate for more war.
'Nigeria cannot afford to go from Boko Haram insurgency to any other insurgency under any guise.
'And on no account should we wittingly or unwittingly allow this to happen again.'
However, reacting to Obasanjo's comments, MASSOB, through its Director of Information, Comrade Samuel Edeson, said Biafra was not dead, and would never die.
In a statement made available to our correspondent in Enugu, the MASSOB spokesman noted that Obasanjo had tried to destroy the pro-Biafra group in the past, during his time as the country's president.
Edeson boasted that the struggle for the actualization of Biafra survived, despite persecution masterminded by Obasanjo's administration, including the killing of about 1000 MASSOB members at Umulolo, Okigwe, in Imo State, on March 29, 2003.
According to Edeson, several MASSOB members lost their lives when Obasanjo ordered a clampdown on the group, then led by Ralph Uwazuruike, who was eventually incarcerated, and released after a long period in prison custody.
He said the pro-Biafra group would drag Obasanjo to the International Criminal Court for the alleged killings.
Edeson said, 'MASSOB wishes to reply Obasanjo that Biafra is not dead and will never die.
'Obasanjo should have known that after killing over 1000 MASSOB members at Umulolo, Okigwe, in Imo State on March 29, 2003, which he masterminded through Achike Udenwa, then governor of Imo State.
'The killing of MASSOB members in Onitsha, Anambra State in 2006/2007, and detention of MASSOB members in various prisons in Nigeria has not stopped our agitation.'
Edeson alleged that Obasanjo attempted to bribe MASSOB leaders with 'bag of money' to forget the struggle for the resurrection of Biafra.
He said the MASSOB leaders, at an alleged meeting with Obasanjo in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, rejected the said bribe, which he said was cash in Ghana-must-go bag.
'In 2006 while Uwazuruike was in Keffi prison, Obasanjo invited us to Aso Rock where he promised us millions of naira and to send us out of the country.
'Ghana-must-go bag of money just for us to forget Uwazuruike to die in prison.
'But we rejected the offer,' Edeson said.
Obasanjo had expressed sadness that the Biafra agitation has also become an industry for those looking for money by hook or by crook, particularly from sympathisers abroad.
He equally described the commercialisation and exploitation of the Biafra agitation as obscene and criminal.
But Edeson noted that Uwazuruike, the former leader of MASSOB, was expelled from the group for 'commercialising' the struggle.
Accusing Obasanjo of genocide and corruption, Edeson said the former president does not understand 'Biafra'.
He said, 'Yes it is true that Uwazuruike has commercialised the struggle and that is why we expelled him from MASSOB.
'Obasanjo is ignorant of Biafra.'
Meanwhile, MASSOB, and another pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, have threatened to resume protests in cities and towns in the South-East and South-South, over the continued detention of IPOB leader, and Radio Biafra director, Nnamdi Kanu.
The threat, which was frowned at by state governments in the South-East, prompted police commands in the zone to beef up security around sensitive government facilities on Monday. Punch