The Ijaw Youth Council blasted MASSOB for including it in its Biafra map – The group sad it is not interested in being part of the new agitation – It said its own agitation predates the Biafran own The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has lashed out at the Movement for the Actualisation of a Sovereign State Of Biafra (MOASSOB) for including the Niger Delta region in its Biafra map. MASSOB and other pro-Biafra group have been agitating for an independent Biafra state and has insisted that the Niger Delta region was part of its territory.
However, in a statement issued on Tuesday, June 6, the IYC through its spokesperson, Barr. Henry Iyalla, said while it recognised the Biafra struggle, their agitation predates the south east own. The Ijaw group said it has a separate and distinct identity to the Igbo people and therefore wasn’t part of its territory. The group said: “we wish to state clearly that the Ijaw and Niger Delta struggle for self-determination predates the Biafra agitations”. “It is on record that even before the Biafra declaration of independence in 1967, Major Jasper Adaka Boro during the twelve days revolution declared a Niger- Delta Republic in 1966. This was before the advent and struggle for the actualization of Biafra. “The Ijaw and Niger Delta people had always maintained separate and distinct identity from our Igbo brothers of the South East. “While we share in the Biafra agitation for self-determination which is not in any way different from our agitation; we wish to clearly state that the Ijaw areas are not part and parcel of the territory of Biafra. “We will collaborate with our south eastern, middle belt and any other minority groups in the quest for self-determination based on mutual respect and common understanding. In the coming days, we will start the constructive engagement on these terms”.
The IYC’s position was in reaction to a statement by Solomon Chukwu who is the leader of MASSOB. He said: “Those who say south south or Niger Delta is not part of Biafra are ignorant; most of them are politicians in the south south zone who are saying it out of mischief to impress their Hausa/Fulani task masters. “History has it that people like Ojukwu’s second in command, Gen. Philip Effiong, fought for Biafra till the end. “Was Effiong not from Akwa Ibom State? “My father and other strong men of Niger Delta also fought for Biafra till the last day of the battle. “How can somebody like Albert Horsefall say that Port Harcourt is not part of Biafra?
“I’m a Biafran from Ikwerre land in Obio/Akpor local government area of Rivers state. “I’m a true son of Niger Delta. Till today, we still have many strong men from the South South who stands to be counted in supporting Biafra. “People like Uche Okwukwu, Asari Dokubo, among other great Niger Delta sons who are in support of Biafra. “Whether they call us south south or Niger Delta or Igbo, the Eastern region is united in the struggle to actualize an independent State of Biafra. ”