A 91-year-old ex-Biafran Cabinet member, Sir Bob Ogbuagu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to rather engage Biafran agitators in meaningful dialogue with a view to addressing the immediate and remote causes of the agitation instead of using force on them.
Ogbuaku, who was the Director of Food Directorate all through the 30 months of the civil war, warned that the continued use of force as a means of quelling the renewed agitation for Biafra would be counterproductive.
He told The AUTHORITY in an exclusive interview that dialogue remains the best option to solve the Biafra equation.
“Cracking down on the agitators is not the best. What I think the Federal Government should do is to engage the agitators in a dialogue because it is better to jaw, jaw than to war, war.
“Government should bring them in and discuss with them because it is the best way to resolve problems. Who believed that today America and Russia will be friends?
“Buhari should realise he is no longer a military Head of State but a civilian President. He should listen to the agitators and find out their grouses and give them a sense of belonging.”
He regretted that all the injustices perpetrated against Biafrans including the 1966 pogrom had not been addressed by any Nigerian Government, hence the renewed agitation for the independence of the break-away republic.
“I don’t think that anybody has addressed them in the first place. Whatever we have been doing has just been a palliative measure.
“Biafrans are very enterprising. That is why despite the pogrom, they survived and still went back to the North.
“The injustices against them by the Federal Government is still there. Federal appointments are still lopsided in favour of the North.
“So, those indices that led to the war are still there. They are so obvious. Officers of Northern extraction are promoted ahead of their Eastern counterparts; it is unfair”, he said.