President of South East Elders Forum, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, a member of the Southern Leaders of Thought, and Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu Uko, and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have told President Muhammadu Buhari that Biafra remains and can never be forgotten.
President Buhari during a working visit to Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, on Tuesday, called on the Igbo to forget Biafra, and secession and work towards a united Nigeria.
But speaking with Saturday Sun, Dr. Ikedife said it was a wrong choice of word to say, “we should forget Biafra, nobody can forget Biafra”.
He said: “Somebody had told me before that we should forget Biafra, and I told the person that it was not possible to forget Biafra. It is not possible to forget that you are an Odudua son; it is not possible to forget that you are an Ijaw man; it is not possible to forget that you a Fulani; it is not possible to forget that you are Junkun, etc.
“It is a wrong choice of word to say, forget Biafra. Nobody can forget it. If you lost your father or son, mother or half of your family members during the Nigeria-Biafra war, can you forget that?
“Even the person saying it cannot forget Biafra, talk less of those that are concerned, who are called Biafrans.
“The person may say anything else, but Biafra is unforgettable.
We can never forget Biafra; nobody should ever forget Biafra.
Biafra has come to be, never mind that they removed Bight of Biafra and called it Bight of Benin, there are people who are Biafrans and there is nothing you can do about it, even if you kill them and it remains only one, that person still remains Biafra.”
In the same vein, Evangelist Uko noted that shooting and killing the youths will not stop the agitation, and pointed out that Biafra can never be forgotten.
According to him, “the people advising Buhari are misleading him. I have been in the centre of the protests by Igbo youth for over a decade, and I know that the solution is engaging them in meaningful dialogue, but some people preferred to shoot them, so I washed my hands off. “I know that they are angry, bitter and very pained about the killing by the soldiers during the invasion of Nnmadi Kanu’s home.
“Those political leaders telling Biafra that the agitation is over are just deceiving and misleading him.
“The boys are angry and the only solution is engaging them in meaningful dialogue, and secondly, embarking on a meaningful restructuring of the country. These are the two solutions.
“I have been talking with the boys for over a decade and they have absolute confidence in me. I know how they feel. Prof Ben Nwabueze and I tried to help the government by bringing them to a meeting, but some people advised the government to halt the dialogue process and embark on shooting them. Shooting and killing them will not stop the agitation. So, Biafra can never be forgotten.”
He emphasised: “It is unfortunate that Buhari would make such statement to Ndigbo because he knows that nothing can stop us from leaving Nigeria.
“We are not bothered or worried about what he said, but Biafra independence is unstoppable, unquenchable and irreversible.
“Telling Igbo to forget Biafra is like telling the sky to stop raining. We have stayed in Nigeria for more than 50 years without any benefits, and we are leaving.”