Some prominent leaders in Benue and Rivers state have strongly rejected the plan by leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to extend his proposed Biafra Republic to their states.
The reaction of the leaders followed a claim by the IPOB leader that while he was in detention, an agent of the federal government had offered him to secede with the five Igbo states but that he rejected the offer because it did not constitute the complete territory of Biafra.
But his claim has infuriated some prominent leaders in Benue and Rivers states who questioned the mental state of Nnamdi Kanu, The Punch reports.
Speaking on the issue, a prominent Benue leader who is a retired police chief, Abubakar Tsav, said Kanu’s speech has shown that the IPOB leader must have some mental disorders.
He said: “I think the man has some mental problems. What is the connection between the Tivs, the Idoma and the Igbo? I think the man needs to see a psychiatric doctor because something is wrong with him.
“He is not well because nothing connects the Tivs, the Idoma to the Igbo. How can he say he wants Benue State to be part of Biafra? He should stay where he is and carry on with his madness. We are not ready to be part and parcel of his madness”
Other prominent indigenes of Tiv, Idoma and Igede, the three major ethnic groups in Benue state who rejected Kanu’s plan to expand the Biafra territory to their state included, a first-class traditional ruler in Tivland, the Tor Sankera, Abu King Shuluwa; a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; a former Minister of State for Education, Professor Jerry Agada and former Economic Adviser to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Professor Ode Ojowu.
The traditional ruler, King Shuluwa, questioned Kanu’s intelligence for trying to extend Biafra Republic to Benue state.
He said: “His level of intelligence is in question, else, how dare him to annex Benue as part of Biafra territory. In fact, if you are looking for more people to be part of your territory, does common sense not say you should have a talk with them?”
On his part, former minister of interior, Abba Moro, said Benue state had no connection with Biafra agitation in any way.
Benue is not part of Biafra, we do not have any relationship with Biafra in genealogy, culture and by colonial creation, Benue is part of the north,” Moro stated.
Similarly, the Ogbakor Ikwerre, a body of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality in Rivers state rejected Kanu’s demand that Rivers state must be part of Biafra.
According to the president-general of the Ogbakor Ikwerre cultural organisation, worldwide, Professor Simeon Achinewhu, the Biafra failed in the past because there were attempts by the former Biafran leader, late Odumegwu Ojukwu, to force unwilling minority groups into Biafra.
Speaking on behalf of the Ijaw nation, the president, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC)Eric Omare, asked Kanu to restrict his Biafra agitation to states of the south-east.
Omare said: “The Ijaw nation has said it times without number that the South-South especially the Ijaw are not part of Biafra territory.”
Voice of Ndigbo recalls that Nnamdi Kanu recently paid a visit to the Rivers state capital, Port Harcourt where he was received by a large number of pro-Biafra supporters.
Addressing the crowd which was reported to be over 3 million, Nnamdi Kanu said there was nothing like one Nigeria, insisting that Biafra is the reward of the people.
The IPOB leader described Biafra as the destiny of the people.
He urged his supporters to demand for Biafra now for the benefit of their children and their grand children who have been marginalized by those in Abuja.