By Phil Okose Onitsha
A Yoruba group under the aegis of Yoruba World Congress (YWC) has expressed its readiness to collaborate with the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), otherwise called the Biafra Independent Movement, BIM’s Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, on how to fight the monster and actualize a sovereign Oduduwa Republic.
The Professor Banjo Akintoye-led YWC stormed the Ojukwu Memorial Auditorium, Owerri, Imo state capital last Weekend where it met with the founder and leader of MASSOB/BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazurike. Akintoye represented by Bashorun Kunle Adesokan, stressed the need for concerted efforts of both the Igbo and Yoruba to defend their land from encroachment by strangers.
“We are on same path like you to freedom and very soon it will be welcome to Biafra and welcome to Oduduwa nations. We will never allow our people to become slaves anywhere. We will never allow anybody to come from outside and conquer our land. We will stand and defend our land beyond that”.
The delegation included Arch. Opeyemi Akinnola, Dr. Akin Adejuwon and the Don of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Mrs. Nwakpa Bunmi Abidogun. They expressed optimism that the two entities would use peaceful means of negotiations to actualize their purpose.
“We are great nations and we are going to congratulate our Igbo brothers. We are ready to work hand in hand to achieve our noble purposes to which we stand, we say congratulations in advance.
“We are sure we stand together. Let us stand together and let us stand together in peace and confidence. Let us make black race a proud race in the world. Thank you for doing what you are doing. I know we have hurt one another in the past. We must move forward and remove them and free people in the world, congratulations again I greet Igbo nation.”
In his response at the meeting tagged, ‘hand shake across the Niger”, Chief Uwazuruike described the Yoruba nation as the game changer in Nigeria.
Uwazuruike in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Social Media Matters, Comrade Emma N. Nnadi and made available to newsmen in Onitsha, hinted that it was a Yoruba man, Herbert Samuel Heelas Badmus Macaulay and an Igbo man, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, that gave Nigeria independence. He pledged to work under the Erudite Professor Banjo Akintoye, as Nnamdi Azikiwe worked under Herbert Macaulay.
He noted that the two nations, (Igbo and Yoruba) have come a long way, recalling how a top Yoruba military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, who was the then Military Governor of Western Nigeria, sacrificed himself to save an Igbo man in 1966.
Defending him he said, “Instead of killing the Igbo man who is in my house, kill me first”‘ and he was killed.
“Had any other tribe in Nigeria done that to an Igbo man? Since our people have been in the west, moreover Lagos, have you ever had any organized killings of Ndigbo like is done in the North?
“As a matter of fact, outside Igbo land the next safest place is Lagos, West and that is where my family is, he hinted.
Uwazuruike recalled that MASSOB organization was formed in Lagos on September 13, 1999, adding that Biafra was registered in UNPO under the instrumentality of the YWC. “What we lost in Biafra during the civil war was sovereignty and not recognition. And what we are fighting for today is sovereignty,” Uwazuruike further disclosed.