Dr. Ikedife in handshake with President Buhari and other Igbo leaders observing.
Recent comments attributed to the British High Commission in Nigeria that Britain did not support agitation for Biafra, at the weekend, attracted the ire of the Deputy Chairman of Supreme Council of Elders of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Dr Dozie Ikedife, who said that Britain pretended not to know the plight of people being marginalised in Nigeria.
Ikedife said Biafran agitators should ignore the comments, but urged that due process be followed in the pursuit of self-determination to actualize Biafra devoid of violence or anything done outside the law.
“Indigenous people of Biafra should ignore the said British comments. Whether they support us or not, we will achieve Biafra even if the whole world says no, there is no going back no matter the odds; so long as there is marginalization, so long there is inequity in infrastructural development, and so long we are relegated to second or third class citizens in this country, we will never stop the quest for Biafra until there is equity and justice,” Ikedife said.
He noted that right from the time of amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates, through independence that Britain had designed Nigeria to favour the North giving them the opportunity of dominance of other sections of the country. He said that even if the whole world says no to the agitation for self-determination by the indigenous people of Biafra that nothing would stop the actualization.
“We know that Britain cannot do anything to disrupt her relationship with Nigeria because of its interest which it believes would be best protected if Nigeria remains as one country. But Scotland was allowed to have a referendum as to whether to remain in the United Kingdom or pull out and Britain granted that. So, in the same analogy, Britain should know that the people of South-South and South East should have the same right of self-determination. You can see the double standard on the part of Britain.
“The British stand on this issue of self-determination for the indigenous people of Biafra could be an official statement, but I’m sure that the common man in the streets in Britain will have a different view. The allegations of Britain being in favour of Northern Nigeria are there,” Ikedife said.
He opined that the British colonial masters made it clear that Nigeria was built in favour of the North, which he said was designed to dominate the rest of the country. He said that it was not a hidden fact that Britain and some other countries during the Nigeria- Biafra war helped Nigeria because of their interest in Nigeria.
“Freedom of speech or association does not allow you to roll out war drums and to say people of a particular ethnic group are animals qualified to be in the zoo. I know that there are many pro-Biafra groups and I am satisfied that there are some of them who consider legal means and diplomatic approach to their pursuit. They are not arrested and nobody can arrest them because they are operating within the law of the land. Biafra cannot be achieved through violence or insulting people with reckless abandon and those who believe in non-violence will not be molested except those who violate the law,” he said.