The South East chapter of the All Progressives Congress has warned against further agitation for Biafra Republic, saying the agitation could scuttle the quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Some Nigerians of the Igbo ethnicity recently engaged in protests demanding a separate country called Biafra. Biafra was the name Eastern Nigeria called itself during the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, on Sunday, the APC said the renewed demand for Biafra as a nation by the MASSOB and other similar groups could be traced to unemployment, but that with the appointment of Chris Ngige, an Igbo, as Labour and Employment minister, the problem would be alleviated.
“Whereas we agree that there is gross unemployment, discontent and despondency among youths in the land; however it is not peculiar to the South East alone,” the party said.
“The gross unemployment is nationwide and would be addressed holistically. Luckily our son distinguished senator Chris Ngige is the minister in charge of employment.”
The APC appealed to the agitators to stop their mass action and drums of war in the overall interest of the Ndigbo at home, across the country and abroad.
It said it was better to jaw-jaw than to war-war, adding, “Dialogue is the best solution, albeit we are doing relatively well across the country and our human development index is one of the highest.”
The APC said the Igbo nation must be strategic in its agitation, as evidence had suggested that it should be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the progressive and prosperous Nigeria being constructed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It said, “We cannot act like the rodent inside the deep hole for years, only to revolt when it was about to be freed. Methinks that this is not the best of times to hype and escalate the agitation for Biafra, because President Buhari has pledged to resuscitate the dilapidated federal roads in the South East, revamp Enugu Coal, fix 2nd Niger Bridge and other physical infrastructure.
“For Mr. President his word is his bond. Critical analysis posits that after his 2nd tenure, it will be the turn of the South East to produce Nigeria president of Igbo extraction.’
‘Is it not paradoxical that the Pro-Biafra agitators were not this hyper-active in the sixteen years when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party Ndigbo gave unprecedented and overwhelming support, without commensurate reward, was in power at the centre?’
The party said it wondered if the promoters of Biafra nation did not see anything wrong when former president Goodluck Jonathan allowed federal roads in the South East to decay and could not award the 2nd Niger Bridge on contract bases like Loko-Oweto Bridge and revamp Enugu Coal?’
It said, “Available evidence shows that the promoters of the mass action are suspect, as they neither sampled the views of majority of Ndigbo at home or in Dutse – Jigawa, in Akure – Ondo, in Oron – Akwa Ibom nor Ndigbo in Lagos, Kano and Abuja.”
The APC said the South east would produce the nation’s president in 2023, saying “Going by the zoning convention, equity and natural justice, surely the president will rotate to the South in 2023.”
It added, “And when the president rotates to the South in 2023, we have all the cards stacked in our favour to appeal to our brothers in the South West who have had eight years stint and our South-South brothers who had five years plus in the presidency since 1999 when the 4th Republic commenced.”
It also stated that every rational indicator favours Ndigbo “and so we need to guide our hate propaganda and wait patiently to harvest the turn of the South East. To be frank this is the golden opportunity for us to join the mainstream, and it should not be scuttled by Pro-Biafra agitators.”