*Faults Attah’s comment on ‘Biafra for Igbo alone’
By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Vanguard
Nnewi – The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has replied former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah on his alleged comment that Biafra is for Igbo alone, asking him to explain who Philip Effiong was if Biafra is just for Igbo.
IPOB in a statement signed by its spokeman, Dr Clifford Iroanya and Mr. Emma Mmezu, titled “Obong Victor Attah who is Philip Effiong if Biafra is for Igbo alone,” regretted that “some elders in Biafra land have become the most clueless people in the world and it rings more true for people who are supposedly seen as educated like the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah who last week made an objection against the statement made by the President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.
“While we generally applauded Obong Attah on his response to President Buhari that the unity of Nigeria is negotiable, we regrettably read few days later the same man blabbing and saying Biafra is for the Igbo alone. So, we began to ask ourselves critical questions about this statement coming from the man we respected so much.
“We are forced to ask if Obong Victor Attah lack full knowledge and history about the Biafra civil war or does he not know who was called General Philip Effiong, the Biafran second in command to General Odumegwu Ojukwu, who happened to come from the same state with him, Akwa Ibom.
“With due respect , Biafra is not for Igbo alone, rather, Igbo is one of the tribes that makes up Biafra. In case you forget the history, His Royal Highness Chief Frank Opigo Dawai 111, Amananaowei of Angiama, an elder statesman, politician, educationist, philanthropist and graduate in 1953, became the administrator of Yenegoa Province of Biafra and the Commissioner for Rural Development in 1967.
“Chief Opigo in a meeting summoned by late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu suggested the name “BIAFRA. He gave the name Biafra, after the Bight of Biafra now Bonny and the rest of the old Eastern elders in that meeting including General Odimegwu Ojukwu, adopted the name”.
According to IPOB “as a matter of fact Biafra’s historical record would remain incomplete if this great Ijaw son is not mentioned or remembered. Sir you also forgot that as at the time when Ojukwu declared Biafra, he was Governor of Eastern Region that includes Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, Old Rivers and Old Cross Rivers were already created by Gowon.
“In other words Biafra consists of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states.
Sir your statement that Biafra is only for the Igbo tribe is clueless and we wonder if you were not born before the war.
“Sir, you forgot too soon that Phillip Effiong who is from Akangkang of Ibiono Ibom in Akwa Ibom State, a Chief of General Staff and next to the Head of State General Ojukwu, fought in defense of his people to the last second of the war, General Ojukwu handed over power to General Effiong, leaving for Côte d’Ivoire.
Effiong thereafter became Biafra’s new Head of State till his death.
“Henceforth we are ever united now, more stronger than before, more determined, we will never give room and will never tolerate anybody who will instigate the divide and rule tactics used on us by our enemies and we will ever remain fearless before anybody who will stand as an enemy to the restoration of our dear country Biafra, and we hope sir that you will not be one of those people we are talking about”.