Published On: Sat, Dec 16th, 2017

Why Biafra is not achievable- Nnia Nwodo, Ohanaeze PG

By Obinna Ezugwu

Nnia Nwodo

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. John Nnia Nwodo has emphasized that an independent state of Biafra being advocated by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) was not achievable because the 1999 constitution which he said, was an imposition of the Northern wing of the Nigerian military, did not provide for self determination.

Nwodo who spoke in Lagos, Thursday at a peace rally organized by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos, explained that the only way Biafra could be achieved was through the United Nations or the African Union, but according to him, such would be impossible because the UN defers to the voice of Britain whenever issues concerning its former colonies in Africa is raised at the world body and the British government has made it clear that it does not support secession in Nigeria.

Recalling his experiences during the Biafra war, Nwodo said the Igbo lost 3.5 million people and maintained that he was not ready to allow anybody to lead Ndigbo to another war. He said restructuring was the only way forward and called for all and sundry to support it.

“Whether I agree with them (IPOB) or not, they have a right to express their opinions. When I was their age, I was in the trench of Biafra fighting. I’m not sure anyone of them has heard the sound of a gun pass through their ears. My closet friend was with me in the trench when he died. He was hit with mortar which tore up his chest and he died. 3.5 million Igbo died in the war,” he said.

“One and a half million were those killed at the war front. One million died of starvation because we were blockaded. Another one million are Igbo children whose parents had been killed, they didn’t know who their parents were, they had no one to cater for them. Others were those in the hospital but there was no medicine to treat them. Those children were packed up in the C130 aircraft than was bringing food and weapons. They were tied in wrappers; those one-year-olds; two-year-olds, when the plan takes off, some will hit their heads on the steel work and die.

“Those who get to their destination are often not up to half of those taken. Those who eventually succeeded in getting to the destination were undocumented; nobody knows who their parents were. Many of them are in Gabon today, some in Ghana and some in Ivory Coast. They are in different countries of West Africa. Not long ago, the people of Gabon sued their president and said he should not govern them because he is an Igbo man; that his father, Bongo adopted him.

“Why I’m telling this story is that any Igbo man that says another war should be brought to our land, me, Nnia Nwodo will be a saboteur. Anyone my age who is afraid of saying the truth then know he has something to hide. The youths will do their own, but the evil that befell your parents must not befall you. That’s why Ohanaeze decided that what we are supporting is the restructuring of the country so that everyone will develop his place.”

Speaking on the need for unity among the Igbo in Lagos, the Ohanaeze president said it was unfortunate that the Igbo have allowed lack of unity they have to put them in a state where nobody reckons with them politically and most of the decisions that affect them taken without their consultation or input. He lamented that the Igbo who own business in the state, such as transport companies would simply be ordered to leave where they have built up and asked to go to another area and start all over again without at least being consulted despite their contributions to the state.

“There are 36 states in Nigeria; there is no state in Nigeria. Outside the seven states in which Igbo are aborigines, Lagos State houses the highest population of the Igbo of any other state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The size of the Igbo here is equivalent to the population of some states in Nigeria. The extent of your size here is the extent of our attention and our interest in Lagos as Ohanaeze,” he said.

“The Igbo in Lagos are not those on excursion, they are hardworking people who contribute to the development of Lagos. Igbo investment in Lagos State is perhaps more than Igbo investment in entire Igbo nation. Igbo contribution to the revenue of Lagos State is not less than 40 percent of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state. Our exposure in Lagos is tremendous; it is not commensurate with the political attention and recognition we get.

“If a man calls himself a rat, the cat will eat him. If the Igbo in Lagos do not organize themselves as those who contribute to Lagos, Lagos will put them by the side. When Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was in Lagos, he was the leader of council in this place. At the time, Lagos and Ibadan were Western Region, Azikiwe was almost premier of Western Region until the celebrated carpet crossing on the floor of Western House of Assembly,” he noted.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Charles Odunukwe, President of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga and secretary of Ohanaeze Anambra State, said the Igbo have great number in Lagos but lamented that because of lack of unity, they are not able to use the number to achieve anything.

“If we organize ourselves in Lagos, our stake in the state will not be denied us,” he said.

“We have the number, but because we are not organized, we are not able to use that number to achieve anything. We want that to change. We should rally behind Ohanaeze.”

© 2017, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • FG to sell 10 public assets in Q4 2018

    The Federal Government has concluded plans to sell 10 government-owned companies for sale to selected investors and the public in the fourth quarter to raise N289 billion toward funding the 2018 budget,Bureau of Public Entreprises (BPE) has disclosed. According to Bloomberg report, preparations are in the final stages to begin the sale of the companies […]

  • Modric defeats Ronaldo, Salah to emerge FIFA’s Footballer of the Year 2018

    Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has been named the Best Men’s Player at The Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday evening, fighting off competition from fellow nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah. The award caps off an incredible year for Modric, who won his fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid in May, […]

  • Nigerian bond market witnesses low demand

    A slowdown in client demand characterizes the bond market on Monday, unlike sentiments witnessed for the most part of last week. This is on the back of expected renewed supply at the bond auction on Wednesday, where the Debt Management Office (DMO) would raise a total of N90billion from the 2023, 2025 and 2028 maturities. […]

  • Oil price climbs to four-year high as Saudi, Russia turn Trump down

    Oil prices have hit a four-year high of over $81 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia rejected calls by Donald Trump to increase production. Brent crude hit its highest level since November 2014 at $81.16 a barrel, up 3 per cent on the day. Saudi Arabia led the c oil cartel, while Russia is […]

  • Buhari releases N22bn to Nigerian Airways retirees

    The Federal Government has released N22.68 billion to settle part of the retirement benefits of former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways. The government has also approved the release of N20 billion to revitalise public universities in line with demands of the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU). Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure […]

  • MPC set for another policy freeze

    By FELIX OLOYEDE Despite the outcry for lower domestic interest rates, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to leave the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent as it responds to inflation jitters ahead of the 2019 general elections, say economists. The MPC meeting schedule to hold today, Monday 24th 2018 and Tuesday […]

  • Ambode fights for his political life

    By OBINNA EZUGWU It is no longer news; the political love affair in Lagos state is in trouble. For the first time since 1999, a sitting governor is facing a real challenge from his own party for the ticket. The indignity can only be imagined and its implications continue to reverberate across the state and […]

  • Adeosun: Betrayed by a dysfunctional system (Editorial)

    A fortnight ago, former Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, resigned her position following the report of an investigative panel into allegations of NYSC certificate forgery against her. The allegation had been earlier made by an online newspaper, Premium Times, and the nation was agog with speculations about it. Her resignation has been interpreted by most […]

  • High cost of Nomination Forms: A conspiracy against the youths

    From PETER OKORE, Umuahia Amidst the mixed feelings trailing the high cost of Nomination Forms for interested candidates to participate in the 2019 general elections, there is growing consensus for the electorate should go for credible candidates rather than political parties in order to achieve desired results. This is because since some political parties in the […]

  • Govt bottlenecks still inhibiting agric business– Farmfields CEO

    Mr. Zanau Hassan Maikasuwa is the CEO of Farmfields Agro-allied Services, an agro-allied consulting and supply firm located in Jalingo, Taraba State. He is an ardent agricultural expert and a strong believer of improving agricultural methods for an improved and more rewarding agricultural sector in Nigeria. In this interview with BLESSING PETER, he assessed the […]

  • China and Nigeria’s debt burden

    By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA Experts have raised the alarm over the continued foray of Chinese businesses and massive funds into Nigeria, saying it portend danger for the country. They argued that the nation risk falling into debt trap, joblessness, among other costs, as is being experienced by several Africans countries. Available data indicate that apart from the […]

  • New Banks fight for survival 

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU A clutch of new financial institutions are beginning to slowly appear on Nigeria’s banking scene as the once fragile economy wriggles out of a recession that held sway between the middle of 2015 and the second quarter of 2017. The renewed institutional confidence in the economy (which has grown more recently at […]

  • Gov poll: Stalemate in Osun as APC, PDP live to fight another day

    The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared the Osun State governorship election inconclusive. The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke, had polled 254,698 votes against that of the All Progressives Congress, Gboyega Oyetola, who polled 254,345 votes. However, due to irregularities which marred the election at some polling units in Ife North, […]

  • Ambode fights for his political life

    By OBINNA EZUGWU It is no longer news; the political love affair in Lagos state is in trouble. For the first time since 1999, a sitting governor is facing a real challenge from his own party for the ticket. The indignity can only be imagined and its implications continue to reverberate across the state and […]

  • Business Hallmark Cover Page for this week

    © 2018, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article. Reactions from Facebook comments and opinions

  • Customers fret over Skye Bank’s demise

    By Okey Onyenweaku There was subdued anxiety within the finance circles throughout the weekend over the collapse of Skye Bank plc. The sudden demise of the stricken lender, caught many industry stakeholders napping. However, usually reliable sources confirmed to Business Hallmark that the move had long been anticipated and was carefully managed to protect depositors […]