Groups in the South-East part of Nigeria demanding for Biafra independent from Nigeria, have been asked to leave the Itsekiri people of Delta State out of their demands.
This was contained in a statement Itsekiri’s apex socio-cultural group, Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, released on
Thursday and signed by its chairman and secretary, Chief Edward Ekpoko, and Sir A. S. Mene, respectively.
In the statement, they called on Igbo leaders, especially the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, to ask the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and other agitators of Biafra Republic to stop fermenting trouble in the country.
It further frowned at the agitators inclusion of Itsekiri people as part of Biafra Republic and warned against such.
The Itsekiri leaders however condemned the ultimatum issued against the Igbo people by a coalition of northern youth groups.
“The proposed Biafra Republic as claimed by the agitators includes the whole of the present Delta State. Itsekiri’s homeland of Warri is not part of that enterprise. We recall with pains the day the defunct Biafra Army invaded Warri and Benin in the then Midwestern Region on August 9, 1967 and say never again will the Itsekiri tolerate such an invasion.
“The Itsekiri ethnic nationality is committed to the unity of Nigeria and will do all it can to promote and protect it as one and indivisible country. We can always sit and talk about our differences. As Major-General Phillip Effiong said on January 14, 1970 that the Republic of Biafra ceased to exist, so we the Itsekiri wish it to be eternally for the peace and development of our great Nation,” the statement read in part.
They also commended the Arewa Consultative Forum, Governor Nasir El – Rufai of Kaduna State and other northerners who boldly condemned the Hausa youths’ 90 days vacation ultimatum to Ndigbo living in the North.
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