Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has proffered reasons why government would not support agitation for “Republic of Biafra”. He said those angling for it have not followed laid down constitutional and diplomatic processes governing secession.
He said though it is their fundamental rights to clamour for Biafra, the agitators have engaged in uncivilised methods.
He, therefore, advised that “they should be rational and not emotional in going about their agitation.”
Speaking with newsmen in Enugu shortly after the end of a stakeholders/caucus meeting of the Enugu State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), Onyeama said those spearheading the breakaway project should critically look at the rules governing secession.
Besides, he posited that those leading the agitation “are not speaking for Ndigbo, as they do not have the mandate of the Igbo race to do so,” adding that they should embrace dialogue rather than violence at all times.
He, however, called on Nigerians, particularly those of South-East extraction, to keep supporting the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, in tackling the present challenges facing the nation.
In the same vein, a university don and Head of Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Obasi Igwe, has said that agitation for Biafra nation will be needless if the Federal Government stops policies perceived to be anti-South-East region of the country.
According to him, what the eastern region needs is opening up of its economic prosperity through railway lines to the Middle Belt and North-East zones where the youths could do their business with a sense of belonging to a untied Nigeria.
Igwe, who spoke at the weekend during the Igbo Day celebration in Kaduna, said that most youths would find a better occupation in the business routes than to engage in militancy, kidnapping and other crimes.
In another development, Igbo leaders after a three-day summit organised by the World Igbo Summit Group (WISG) in collaboration with the Igbo Renaissance Centre of the Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, have canvassed the repeal of the 1999 Constitution and implementation of the 2014 Constitutional Conference recommendations.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting yesterday, the Igbo leaders implored governors to direct their state Houses of Assembly to enact laws making grazing illegal in their states.
According to the leaders: “In view of the threat by the Fulani herdsmen, which constitute present and imminent danger to peace and security in Igboland, the summit calls on Igbo governors and the state’s Houses of Assembly to immediately legislate against any form of open grazing in any part of Igbo land.”
On the call for the repeal of the 1999 Constitution, the chairman of the summit, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), said: “Ndigbo insists that the 1999 Constitution should be repealed and a new one that will recognise the inalienable rights of each constituent group to self-determination and regional autonomy as enshrined in the 1960 Independence Constitution and 1963 Republican Constitution be enacted. We demand the inclusion of these elements in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 constitutional conference, which Ndigbo strongly supports.