‘Igbo, IPOB abandoned Gen Effiong, he died a Biafra rebel’
By Anayo Okoli & Emmanuel Ayungbe
Kanu meets ADF, denies going into hiding
UMUAHIA—THE Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, Monday, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, met with the Prof. Uzodinma Nwala-led Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, as part of his consultations towards the agitation for Biafra Republic.
This came as a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State, Elder Enefiok Ekefre has alleged that the Igbo abandoned General Philip Effiong who eventually died a Biafran rebel.
Recall that Kanu, last week in Enugu, met with South-East governors and some elder statesmen from the zone, including Prof. Ben Nwabueze.
Alaigbo Development Foundation is a pan-Igbo organisation composed of some accomplished Igbo professionals, academics and the intelligentsia at home and in the diaspora with interest in Igbo cause.
ADF delegation at the meeting was led by its National President, Professor Uzodinma Nwala, while Kanu led the top hierarchy of IPOB to the meeting which lasted for about three hours.
Speaking shortly after, Kanu described it as “a family meeting,” saying: “I told them that I will update them periodically on what we are doing.”
The IPOB leader expressed delight that the Igbo elite had woken from their slumber and come to terms with realities over the need for the race to unite and take their destiny in their hands.
He said: “I am glad that the elite are coming on board. We are all elite, including the carpenter and the mechanic by the road side, who have understanding of the times, as long as they can make sense and articulate their viewpoints and channel them towards emancipating our people.
“Elitism is not purely about academics; it has to do with being able to articulate a sense of purpose for a people and pursuing it doggedly.”
Agenda of the meeting
Speaking further on the agenda of the meeting, Kanu said “it was a family meeting and not for public consumption,” adding that it was very fruitful.
According to him, the outcome of the meeting “will guide us in our efforts towards restoring Biafra.”
On what he discussed with South-East Governors, Kanu said he outlined his demands to them for onward transmission to the Federal Government.
Kanu also vowed never to compromise his position on the independence of Biafra, which he said was non-negotiable as any other thing to the contrary would amount to betrayal.
He said: “I laid down before the governors what we want from the Federal Government, and that is the restoration of the Republic of Biafra.
“Nothing has changed; our position is still the same. What we want is referendum on Biafra. We have told them what we want, and we cannot compromise that position.So, let them convey same to the Federal Government.”
He said that he has a lot of respect for the Igbo elders but said that “no amount of pressure or persuasion” would make him drop the agitation for Biafra “because that is why I was born.”
Kanu urged Biafrans all over the world to remain resolute, determined and focused on the struggle, expressing the confidence that Biafra would soon be realized.
He insisted on boycotting the November 18 governorship election in Anambra, pointing out that henceforth, there would be no more elections in any Biafra soil until the Federal Government conducts referendum on Biafra.
Denies going into hiding
On the media reports that he had gone underground following moves by the Federal Government to re-arrest him, Kanu declared that he would never go into hiding because he was never moved by threats.
“Nigeria should be afraid of me and not me afraid of it. The media should not be reporting falsehood but should remain objective and accurate in their reportage of events,” he said.
Igbo, IPOB abandoned Gen Effiong, he died a Biafra rebel
Speaking with Vanguard in Uyo,Ekefre chided the Igbo for abandoning Gen. Effiong, the vice president of the defunct Republic of Biafra who died in 2003 without Federal Government amnesty as was accorded Ojukwu.
He regretted that “the Igbo are expecting support forgetting that they all looked the other way and allowed Gen. Effiong who made the historic declaration that ended the bloody civil war to live and die a Biafra rebel while Ojukwu died a Nigerian Army General.
“Gen. Philip Effiong, an Ibiono Ibom man, was the Vice President to Ojukwu. Mr. M. U. Akpan, the Secretary to the Government of Biafra (SGB) was also from Ibiono. Gen. Effiong signed the instrument of surrender but when the Igbo were talking of payment of gratuity and pension, they only presented Gen. Ojukwu and refused to mention Gen. Effiong.
“He lived and died a Biafran military officer but Ojukwu’s rank was restored with salaries and gratuity paid from 1966. Today, the Igbo are complaining of marginalization and oppression, forgetting that justice and injustice should not be selective.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to make adequate compensation for the family of the late Gen. Effiong, noting that in the spirit of true reconciliation and justice, what was done to Ojukwu should be done to Gen. Effiong.
On agitation by IPOB
On agitation by IPOB, Ekefre said the agitation was ill-timed, stressing that “the Igbo had President Goodluck Jonathan from South-South, Senate President fromSouth-East, Secretary to the Government of the Federation government, Minister of Finance and Gen. Azubike Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff, and hey could not ask for their republic then.”
He lamented that the South- south, South East and South West are not united which is why they all went to the National Conference with different agenda.
“When President Jonathan inaugurated the national conference, the Ibos went to the conference with the Ibos agenda, Yoruba when with their own agenda while the core south south went with their various ethic agenda while the entire north with Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri and even the TiVs went with one northern agenda. They needed power which they have got. You can’t get what you didn’t ask for”
The politician lamented that even though Jonathan had reasons for the conference he inaugurated but he could not put together moral courage to implement even a portion of the recommendations until he was voted out of office.
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