Members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) have invited President Muhammadu Buhari to Igboland to deliver a lecture to Ndigbo on why he opposes the Biafra Republic and wants a united Nigeria.
They also want the President to use the opportunity to explain why businesses owned by Ndigbo are allegedly being frustrated by his administration.
In a statement entitled: “The Muhammadu Buhari’s Speech to Youth Corps Members – Setting the Records Straight,” IPOB, through its spokespersons, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, also appealed to the president to use the opportunity to explain why he abandoned the zone in terms of appointments and projects’ execution.
Iroanya said that IPOB will use the lecture to explain to the President the imperatives of a Biafra state and why the ongoing agitations won’t die.
The group said the invitation to the President was prompted by misgivings by those who should know better the need for an independent Biafra state.
The group said that war-mongering and regurgitation of the stories of Biafra genocide will not shake its resolve and determination for the restoration of the God-given nation to Igbo.
Iroanya said: “The earlier Buhari understands that nothing on this earth can stop the restoration of the nation of Biafra, the better for him and his sympathisers.
“We reiterate that the restoration of the nation of Biafra is divine and beyond the whims and caprices of any government,” he said.
IPOB accused Buhari of violently overthrowing the democratically elected government of Alhaji Aliyu Usman Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983.
Buhari had on September 14, 2016 advised corps members, who visited him in Daura during the Sallah celebration, to “tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it. As a military commander, I walked from Degem, a border town between the North and the East, to the border between Cameroun and Nigeria. I walked on my foot for most of the 30 months that we fought the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War, in which at least two million Nigerians were killed”.
IPOB said that what Buhari told his audience was not new because “one of the requirements of a soldier is endurance trekking. Therefore, that he may have trekked from one location to the other should not be used to scare Biafrans from exerting their rights to self-determination.
“After all, General Ratko Mladic walked all the way from Serbia to Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina to commit war crimes in the name of preserving Yugoslavia unity, yet in the end he lost.”
IPOB alleged that it was the struggle for the control of oil in Biafraland that “Britain in 1968 alone supplied hundreds of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 10,000 machine guns, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 3,000 bayonets, 10,000 rifles with grenade launchers, 15,000 pounds of explosives, 21,000 mortar bombs, 42,500 Howtizer rounds, 5,000 submachine guns and other weapons of mass destruction, in one year alone, to the killing fields in Biafraland…Without this one-sided military support from the British to Nigeria while at the same time denying Biafra access to weapons, even Buhari himself knows that there is no way in a billion years Nigeria could have defeated Biafra in the war.
“Buhari must understand that a nation develops organically and is predicated on the commonality of shared value systems. A nation is markedly different from a country even our colonial masters know this. That is why Scotland, which is a nation can seek independence from Britain which is a country. The same way that Biafra, a nation is seeking her independence from Nigeria. Buhari must know that Nigeria may claim to be a country but definitely not a nation.
“Muhammadu Buhari should also understand that unity cannot be force-fitted or enforced by one region on other regions within a geographical expression. This is why David Cameron, immediate past British Prime Minister, did not deploy troops to Glasgow or Edinburgh with rules of engagement (ROE) to kill innocent Scottish people in the quest to preserve “One Britain”, IPOB said.
IPOB continued that Buhari’s argument that Nigeria is big enough for everyone to be a part of, is not logical, adding that the “Soviet Union was big and a super power but it broke up. Yugoslavia went their separate ways with the active support of Britain. Those familiar with the history of British politics will know that it was Paddy Ashdown MP, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party that sought and gained the backing of the British Government of the day to support the independence of the Muslim enclave of Bosnia Herzegovina away from Yugoslavia”, the IPOB stated.