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Break-up: Ezeife, MASSOB, IYM disagree over Ohanaezes stance

Published by The Nation on Sat, 05 Jun 2021


By Sam Egburonu (Associate Editor) and Innocent DuruMore Igbo leaders and concerned organisations in the Southeast Saturday reacted to the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozors declaration that Ndigbo would not support Nigerias break-up. While some dismissed Ohanaezes stance, others explained the kind of united Nigeria Ndigbo desire.Former civilian governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, says the statement credited to Obiozor, that the group does not support the breakup of Nigeria, is in order.In a telephone interview with The Nation, Ezeife said Obiozor spoke the mind of a majority of mature, older and educated people. We understand what is happening; the people pressing for Biafra, if you conduct a referendum among the people, more than 80 percent will not support Biafra. I dont and many older ones also dont. Many intelligent ones do not. We believe that if Nigeria is restricted, there will be no need for a break up. Instead of breaking into small countries, our people like large space. We appreciate Gods design for Nigeria which is to become an unmatchable country. God doesnt make a mistake. We believe in one Nigeria.But the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has dismissed the statement credited to Obiozor, stating that the leader of the apex Igbo group lacks the authority to speak for the region.The leader of MASSOB, Uche Madu, in a telephone chat with our correspondent, said Ndigbo do not know who Obiozor is. The process that brought him in as the President General was not recognised by Ndigbo. So, he doesnt have the locus standi to speak for Ndigbo. We have been in the struggle for the actualisation of Biafra for the past 20 years. Obiozor cant speak for Ndigbo concerning Biafra.He can only speak for his group of politicians who want to use Ohanaeze to bargain for their political interests. Ndigbo should not listen to him. Nigeria will soon break up. There is nothing that will stop Nigeria from breaking up. There is no way Nigeria can be sustained by the way Buhari is conducting the affairs of Nigeria, he said.He further said: We are not against anybody. Yorubas are clamouring for the Oduduwa Republic; Biafrans are clamouring, Middle Belt people are clamouring, even the Hausas that the Fulanis are using are also clamouring for their independence from the Fulani hostage.By the time Nigeria and Biafra will sit to discuss the breakup Obiozor will not be there because the international community dont see Obiozor as somebody agitating for Biafra. We dont align with whatever Obiozor is saying. Obiozor is there working for the interest of a few politicians that put him there. He is not serving the Igbo interest.Also in a brief telephone chat with The Nation Saturday, Evang Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, the founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), said The younger generation of Ndigbo, who constitute over 70 percent of the Igbo population, are completely sick and tired of unitary Nigeria. The 1999 Constitution enclosed them, imprisoned them and castrated them. They will never accept unitary Nigeria that is encapsulated in the 1999 Constitution.READ ALSO:Ohanaeze: Ndigbo wont support Nigerias break-upI have been organising seminars, talk shows, conventions and workshops for Igbo youths for 39 years. I have been organising these IYM events in the universities, polytechnics, in the markets, in the churches, on the streets; everywhere for decades. I can tell you authoritatively that the younger generation of Ndigbo will not accept the 1999 Constitution, no matter how much you amend it. If you amend this 1999 Constitution from here to Timbuktu; if you amend the 1999 Constitution from here to China; they will never accept it. Only a new constitution, anchored on the cornerstone of true federalism and power devolution within regional autonomy, along the lines of the 1963 Constitution can help people like me to beg and kneel down and cry to angry youths to accept it. They will never accept any form of amendment of the 1999 Constitution, he said.Urged to react directly to Prof Obiozor-led Ohanaezes declaration that Ndigbo will never support Nigeria break up, he said, I have just answered that question. I have told you what the youths would do. I dont speak for the 80 year olds. Amb. Obiozor is one of the 80 year old Igbo leaders. I have never spoken for the 80 year old leaders. I speak for the younger generation and I have told you they will never accept a unitary Nigeria or any type of 1999 Constitution amendment.
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