Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday in Abuja passed a verdict of death on the renewed call for a sovereign state of Biafra which is currently being pushed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) after another group, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) appears to have given up on the call.
Obasanjo said that such call for secession or severance from Nigeria by the group was a hopeless and futile exercise. He described its originators as being desperate and exploitative.
The former army general who reportedly led the Nigerian troop to victory over the Biafran secessionist army at Amichi in present day Anambra State and effectively ended the 30-month old civil war in 1970 stated at a development discourse organised by Nextier Advisory that Biafra as a secessionist issue was dead and the renewed agitation for it was being done in error.
He spoke alongside other panelists such as a former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke, former editor of NEXT, Kadaria Ahmed, as well as West Africa Editor of the Africa Report, Tolu Ogunlesi, and veteran journalist, Chido Onumah.
All of the panellists had their views which appeared slightly different from that of Obasanjo at the session that followed the former president’s opening remarks. The session was moderated by the principal partner Nextier Advisory, Patrick Okigbo.
Obasanjo who insisted that his position on the issue was firm, however stated that the renewed call was from the frustration of frontline supporters of the agitation. He said that they must not be allowed to go on unchecked.
He also added that such should not be accorded any inadvertent helping hand to make it to national limelight, insisting that he will never support calls for Nigeria’s breakup.
Centering on the Biafra agitation, 46 years after the end of the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War, Obasanjo said that he considered the renewed agitation as a platform for attention, amelioration, and improvement of the socio-economic conditions of youths in the south-east and Nigeria in general. (Thisday)