GOVERNOR Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has dismissed called for the balkanisation of Nigeria as economic suicide describing the agitation for the creation of an independent nation of Biafra as sheer madness.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, calls for the recreation of defunct republic of Biafra which existed briefly between July 1967 and January 1970, have become strident. Nigeria’s 30m Igbos feel they have been marginalised in terms of federal appointments and when it comes to the location of infrastructure.
To make matters worse, armed Fulani cattle herdsmen have unleashed an orgy of violence across the southeast, attacking farms at will and attacking rural communities. President Buhari has been accused of turning a blind eye to these atrocities, leading to the growing popularity if secessionist groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).
Apart from calling regular protests, Ipob has also established a military wing called the Eastern Security Network (ESN), that enforces sit-at-home protests whenever they are called. Dismissing calls for secession, Governor Umahi pointed out that the southeast geo-political zone would be the greatest loser if Biafra is achieved.
He said the southeast has invested in every part of Nigeria, hence people of the region cannot afford to lose their investments due to Biafra agitation. Speaking on Channels Television, Governor Umahi said the southeast elites are against Biafra but rather prefer to be treated equally as Nigerians.
Governor Umahi said: “Every elite in southeast is not desirous of Biafra, we don’t want Biafra; we want to be treated equally like other regions in Nigeria. So, this idea of Biafra is madness and we have said No, we don’t want Biafra.
“If we go our separate ways, southeast people will lose a lot because we’ve invested a lot in every part of this nation. It is not to our advantage to leave our investment and walk away.”
He accused Ipob of sending out messages of fear and killing across the southeast. Ipob’s leader Nnamdi Kanu, is currently in detention awaiting trial where he is facing several charges including treason