The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, on Monday, carpeted former President Olusegun Obasanjo for saying that Biafra had died.
Obasanjo, while presenting a paper entitled, “Resurgent Biafra Agitation: Born in Error, Ignorance and Frustration”, at an event organised by the Yar’Adua Centre and Nextier’s Development Discourse to commemorate the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja, last Friday, said Biafra as a secession issue is dead!
The former president also dismissed the agitation for Biafra as “futile”, “hopeless” and one that could only have a disastrous outcome, adding that the present agitation for secession was a “cry for attention” and a call for the improvement of the socio-economic condition in the South East.
Reacting to the statement by the elder statesman, MASSOB, through its Director of Information, Samuel Edeson, maintained that Biafra was not dead, and would never die.
The MASSOB spokesman, who made the statement in Enugu on Monday, recalled that Obasanjo had tried to destroy the pro-Biafran group during his tenure as civilian president from 1999-2007.
He noted that the struggle for the actualisation of Biafra survived, despite alleged persecution by the Obasanjo administration, including the alleged killing of about 1,000 MASSOB members at Umulolo, Okigwe, in Imo State, on March 29, 2003.
According to Edeson, many members of the group lost their lives when Obasanjo ordered a clampdown on MASSOB, which was then led by Ralph Uwazuruike, who was incarcerated and released after a long period in detention.
He also said the pro-Biafran group would drag Obasanjo to the International Criminal Court, ICC, to account for the alleged killings.
The statement read, “MASSOB wishes to tell Obasanjo that Biafra is not dead and will never die. Obasanjo should have known that despite the killing of over 1,000 MASSOB members at Umulolo, Okigwe, in Imo State, on March 29, 2003.
“The killing of MASSOB members in Onitsha, Anambra State in 2006/2007, and the detention of MASSOB members in various prisons in Nigeria never stopped our agitation”.
Edeson further alleged that the former Nigerian leader tried to induce the MASSOB leadership with “a bag of money” to abandon the struggle for Biafra.
He alleged that MASSOB leaders, at a meeting with Obasanjo in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, rejected the said bribe, which he claimed was in a ‘Ghana-must-go’ bag.
“Obasanjo said that he appointed Igbo men as ministers – what have these done to the Ndigbo? These (ministers) were the tools he used in destroying Igbo land. We shall drag Obasanjo to the International Criminal Court.
“In 2006, while Uwazuruike was in Keffi prison, Obasanjo invited us to Aso Rock where he promised us millions of naira. He also promised to send us out of the country for us to forget Uwazuruike to die in prison. But we rejected the offer”, Edeson said.