Wednesday, 18 November 2015

South-South nationalities distance zone from ‘so-called Biafra’

The Conference of Ethnic Nationalities in the South- South geo-political zone has rejected the inclusion of the zone in the demand by some Igbo youths for the creation of Biafra and called for an immediate cessation of pro-Biafra protests in South-South territories.

In a 10-point communiqué issued yesterday at the end of its meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, chaired by the Ntisong of Ibibio land, HRM, Obong (Dr) EU Ekidem, the group dissociated the South-South zone from the “so-called Biafra.”

The summit was attended by representatives of Ibibio, Efik, Anang, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Ikwerre, Oro, Isoko and several other nationalities including the interim chair of the group, HRM Ekidem, Convener of the meeting and Secretary of the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, ILoT, Delta state, Barrister Edward Ekpoko, Albert Akpomudje, SAN (Urhobo) and president general of Ogbakor- Ikwerre in Rivers state, Prof A.M Onyeozu.

Pastor Nelson CocoBassey (Efik ethnic nationality), Ulap Bidiak Uloh (Oro ethnic nationality), Amechi Ogbonnia (Itsekiri), Obong Ukpong Umoh and Obong Aniedi Ndem were at the conference and signed the communiqué, which reads, “We will not allow any inch of the land of the ethnic nationalities mentioned above and other lands of the South-South to be part of the ill-thought-out enterprise.

“We call for a halt to demonstrations for Biafra on our land henceforth as it touches on the collective sensibilities of our people and could provoke ethnic crisis.

“We are not only surprised but shocked that Igbos who returned to Nigeria after the fall of Biafra in January 15, 1970 with tales of woes and horrors can talk about Biafra.”

They advised that “It is in the interest of Igbos that Nigeria is protected as they have more investments outside their homeland.”

The South-South nationalities called on governors, political leaders and traditional rulers of the South-East geopolitical zone to “speak out now as their silence is becoming eloquent.” Furthermore, the South-South ethnic nationalities urged “well-meaning Igbos to call their children/wards to order to prevent an avoidable crisis.”

“We call on the law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant.

“We believe in one Nigeria and will do all within our power to protect the unity of Nigeria,” the Conference stated.

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