The sponsors of pro-Biafra protests rocking states in the Southeast and some parts of the Southsouth have been traced to former political office holders who served under the immediate past Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The allegation was made on Wednesday by a pan-Igbo group, The Igbo Conscience.
Leader of TIC and rights activist, Mr. Monday Ubani, who made the observation while addressing a press conference in Lagos, wondered why the pro-Biafra protesters suddenly found their voice after President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in.
According to Ubani, during Jonathan’s administration, many Igbo politicians benefited by way of “juicy” appointments, which did not translate to an improvement in the living standards of Ndigbo.
He said, “As recently as six months ago, the Igbo occupied and boasted of occupying prime positions in the country during the six years of President Jonathan’s rule. Why is it that immediately after the defeat of the past regime in March, the cries of Igbo marginalisation rose to high heavens with slanderous allegations against the President-elect?
“What were the merits the Ndigbo derived from this much-vaunted strategic placing in critical positions for six years? Should the Igbo be crying of marginalisation just a few months after sitting on the upper echelons of the country’s political and economic spheres if these political beneficiaries benefitted the Ndigbo with their positions?
“Should roads and other facilities in the South-East be as dilapidated as they are today if we benefitted from these former office holders, some of whom are sponsoring the present agitations?”
The TIC leader, who was a former Chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, lamented that many Igbo youths had been deceived into believing that secession was the only way to address national problems.
He said even the late Igbo leader and Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, said that the Biafran struggle was a “struggle of the mind and not a physical one”.
He drew the attention of pro-Biafra agitators to the situation in Pakistan and South Sudan, both of which seceded from India and Sudan respectively, but had not fared any better even after gaining their freedom.
Mr. Ubani, therefore, urged the protesting youths to have a rethink, stressing that the philosophy of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra was at variance with Ojukwu’s and that was why the late Igbo leader never identified with the group in his lifetime.
He also described the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, whose detention by the Nigerian Government gave rise to the protests, as an impostor, who did not have the interests of the Igbo at heart.