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Massob Issues Fresh Ultimatum for New Biafra

By Mike Ubani, P.M. News (Lagos), 14 May 2001

Umuahia—A chieftain of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in Umuahia has given a deadline for the resurrection of the defunct republic.

Chief L.N. Onyegbule, General Secretary, Umuahia branch of MASSOB, said during a two-day colloquium organised by the National Union of True Igbo Movement (NUTIM) at the Dr. Michael Okpara Auditorium, that the movement was working tirelessly towards the resuscitation of Biafra in the year 2003, though he said the emergence of an Igbo president in the next presidential election would put a damper on the organisation's plan.

He said over 2,500 members of MASSOB are languishing in various prisons in the country for propagating the ideals of the organisation, while hundreds of others have been killed by the police.

Despite intimidation from the police, Chief Onyegbule said the movement has established branches in all the southeastern states and the Niger Delta area.

The MASSOB scribe further said that henceforth, the group would deal ruthlessly with public office holders of Igbo extraction who work against the interests of Ndigbo.

He also said that any Igboman nominated for appointment at either the federal or state level must first be cleared by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, before the appointment is ratified by either the national assembly or the state house of assembly.

He appealed to Igbos living in various parts of the country to support the movement, saying the organisation believes in non-violence in achieving its aim.

According to the President of NUTIM, Chief Samfo Nwakwo, the two-day event attended by many personalities from Igboland, including Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, ex-Biafran leader, Dr. J.O.J. Okezie, former Federal Commissioner For Agriculture, Chief Ezebuilo Ozobu, chairman Ohanaeze Ndigbo and representatives of the Abia State governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, was aimed at uniting Ndigbo in the pursuit of a common political goal.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, NUTIM, among others, said that the only basis for continued existence of the Nigerian nation is for other nationalities to support Ndigbo to produce the next president in 2003.

The communique also demanded that the current lopsided recruitment and promotions in the armed forces which are against Ndigbo must be reversed immediately.