Human rights activist and former labour union leader, Chief Frank Kokori, has carpeted the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, for saying that the South-South is Biafran territory.
MASSOB had said in a statement on Sunday said that “anybody who says that Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Cross River states are not part of Biafra is deceiving himself”.
According to MASSOB, Biafra comprises all the states of the former eastern region, including the Anioma clan in Delta State.
“It has been part of the Federal Government’s policy of divide and rule to tell the world that only the Ndigbo want Biafra; but this is false”, MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Sunny Okereafor, said in the statement.
However, Kokori, a former Secretary-General of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, said that MASSOB and other pro-Biafran agitators were jokers trying to exploit the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Kokori, who is from Delta State, said MASSOB and other pro-Biafran groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, were only trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians.
He said, “During the civil war, there was no South-South. There were the Eastern Region, Midwest Region and Western Region. The Midwest Region comprised Bendel people. The Eastern Region extended to Cross River, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom of today but that was a long time ago.
“So, we in Delta State have never been part of Biafra. Anything that is Biafran today is purely in the South-East which does not include Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
“These states are not part of this new Biafran joke. To me, it is a joke. The Biafra of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a serious issue. What people like Ralph Uwazuruike of MASSOB and Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB are doing is trivialising the serious struggle of Ojukwu.
“They are not even serious; they don’t know what they want. What they want is not viable and so they are just trivialising. Is Biafra today possible with five landlocked South-East states?”
Kokori, therefore, called on Igbo leaders to caution the pro-Biafran youths, who he said did not understand the implication of their demand.
On the continued detention of IPOB leader and executive director of Radio Biafra, the former labour leader pleaded with the Federal Government to release him for the sake of peace.
He added, “With Igbo people prospering all over Nigeria in places like Lagos, Abuja and even in the North, will they abandon their business and return home? Even if there is a referendum, the pro-Biafrans will not get up to 10 per cent of the votes.
“Most of the Igbo leaders are just keeping quiet. This struggle is a childish and selfish cause being sponsored by opportunists.
“However, the Federal Government should give Kanu a serious warning not to toy with treason again and then release him for the sake of peace”.