"You‘ve no right to speak for Ndigbo" – Geoffrey Onyeama blasts Biafra agitators
|Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama|
According to him; I was in Austria and was addressing Nigerians in Vienna and some young Igbo boys came and disrupted the meeting and even broke some windows at the embassy. I was speaking on the Ahiara Declaration, which gave a mandate for Ojukwu to declare a state of Biafra.
On the mandate for declaration of Biafra....
He said; Consequent on certain events that had happened, including the Aburi Agreement and they believe it was not compliable.
Okpara was there and Ojukwu was the military head of state at that time, so there was legitimacy. But now, they are saying we should create Biafra and there is a grievance that some people have been detained.
The question that is being asked by Igbo leaders in Nigeria is where did the mandate for today’s calls for the declaration of Biafra come from? When you make a demand, it has to be based on some mandate because we are operating a democracy. You saw in the United Kingdom, the Scottish people said they wanted an independent state.
There was a mandate because the people had given the Scottish Party the mandate to demand independence. They had a referendum and the people voted on the matter. So the referendum took place because the elected government under David Cameron agreed to that referendum. So what we are saying, and what Mr. President said in the case of Biafra is look, that’s okay, the government can decide to hold a referendum and let it be decided democratically.
A lot of the present agitators were not born between 1967 and 1970. War is the worst thing you can ever have. A war was fought here and it was something we never want to see again. Let us follow a constitutional mechanism, if that is what the people want, let them give a mandate through a democratic process. It doesn’t serve any purpose to result in militancy.
The President is not saying he is against it ab initio. When there were three regions, the Eastern, Western and Northern regions and there was a push for the creation of the Mid-Western region.
Speaking on the Constitutional procedure....
The minister said; It was under Action Group at that time, it was done democratically and constitutionally in the parliament and the Mid-Western region was created. So everybody should calm down and just follow constitutional procedure.
On Igbo leaders:
He said; The so-called leaders, I don’t know who gave them the mandate to speak for the Igbo. I have spoken to a number of Igbo leaders and they said they even want to come out to make statements on the people agitating for Biafra.
People can agitate for what they want but they cannot claim to speak for the Igbo. Who gave them the mandate? In what capacity are they speaking? Look at the Scottish people, they are saying that the UK has withdrawn from the European Union but they would stay in the European Union.