By Jide Obi
13th June 2020
For some time now, there have been accusations and counter-accusations among the leaders of the various groups agitating or claiming to agitate for Biafra independence. It got to a point that many of the supposed leaders alongside their followers literally abandoned the struggle in their bid to prove themselves better.
Tony Nnadi, Asari Dokubo, and Ralph Uwazuruike have all been taking swipe at Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Tony Nnadi is the leader of Movement for New Nigeria (MNN); Dokubo, is a former militant leader and pipeline vandal, now turned pipeline security contractor; while Ralph Uwazuruike is the former leader of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and currently the leader of Biafra Independence Movement (BIM).
Before now, Nnadi has been pushing for a change of the existing Nigerian constitution which he described as a fraud, adding that it did not emanate from the people. He called it a disgrace to Nigerians and hoped to champion a better constitution that will reflect the people’s will.
With the help of his law profession, he has been going around with the claim that he has found the wand to make Nigeria better which, according to him, was in getting Nigerians of the lower part of the Niger to work together. He called his group the Lower Niger Congress (LNC).
Before the 2019 elections, he called for a stoppage of all electoral process until the constitution is changed. He claimed that that was a decision arising from a conference of 14 years ago – the Pro-National Conference Organizations (PRONACO), which they held in early April 2006. Funny enough, the vice-chairman of the said PRONACO, Professor Wole Soyinka, had ignored him at the time of election to campaign vigorously for late Muhammadu Buhari. While Soyinka was at it, he took swipes at Tony’s Igbo people, accusing them of playing politics according to their stomach.
Nnadi never raised a voice against Soyinka but found it orgasmic to criticize and castigate Kanu and IPOB. He accused Kanu and IPOB of lying, adding that they deceive and scam Biafrans. Although Nnadi was not fighting for Biafra but a New Nigeria, IPOB became his headache. Every opportunity was good enough to attack the group. Biafrans obviously are not happy with him. They see him as a saboteur who has taken money from Nigerian authorities to undermine Biafra agitation and demean IPOB. For long, the IPOB leader ignored him and the other detractors.
Few weeks ago, however, his patience expired and he opened up on them. Debunking Nnadi’s claims, Kanu said that he met Nnadi twice in all his life. According to him, he first met Nnadi when Nnadi wanted to sell his idea of new Nigeria to him which he rejected.
The second was when Nnadi met him in court to beg to be part of his legal team. The IPOB leader then warned that unless Nnadi showed evidence of how he defrauded him, that he would go court to seek redress.
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After many years in the doldrums of the Biafran struggle, Ralph Uwazuruike, former leader of moribund MASSOB, jumped in from the blues in the middle of 2019 to claim that he had established a Biafran internal government.
To observers of the Biafran agitation, it is quite laughable, for in June 14, 2017, Uwazuruike signed agreement subscribing to an indivisible one Nigeria with some Northern Fulani power mongers. The agreement had four major signatories: Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late dictator, Sani Abacha; Mohammed Abacha, son of the late dictator; Asari Dokubo, pipeline guard; and late Fredrick Fasehun, founder of O’dua People’s Congress (OPC).
Many Igbo and Biafran groups berated Uwazuruike at the time, saying he should hide his face in shame. Among such groups was Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA). One of the groups had this to say about him: “Uwazurike’s very disgraceful outing with Al-Mustapha in Kaduna on Monday was a public confirmation that Uwazuruike never believed in our people’s freedom. He has been trading with the blood of Igbo youths for two decades. For him, it’s all about money, money and more money.” His activities had led many youths to their death while he lives in opulence.
In spite of all these, Uwazuruike unleashed his members against Kanu and IPOB with accusations and propaganda. Part of the propaganda was that Uwazuruike established Radio Biafra and Kanu high-jacked it. But if really he established Radio Biafra which is a registered entity in the United Kingdom, why hasn’t he sued Kanu?
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This loquacious brother of ours is a law school dropout. Cantankerously noisy, his privileged family background did little to polish him. He amassed wealth through illegal oil bunkering, militancy and oil-pipeline vandalization. He was part of the militant group that claimed to be fighting for resource control. It was while at this that he betrayed Henry Orkah, the leader of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta who is currently serving a jail term in South Africa. After striking a deal with Nigerian government to become one of its pipeline guards, he became very rich to be able to open a university in Cotonu, Benin Republic.
He later claimed to have joined the Biafra struggle and at a time was contributing discussions at Radio Biafra. Then, like Uwazuruike, he suddenly turned against Kanu and IPOB, accusing him of having been scamming Biafrans and embezzling their funds. Well, Nnamdi Kanu has made it public that while in prison he actually gave N20 million Naira to Asari through Uchenna Asiegbu alias Omiomio for a job which he never did.
First Asari accepted in a Facebook video to have received the said money but argued that he used it to feed some IPOB members that visited him. Few days after, he made another video insisting that no money was given to him. He asked IPOB to bring proof that the money was given to him.
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It was at this point that Nigerian government inadvertently stepped in to resolve who was right and who was wrong. Under the circumstances that the combatants created, it was easy for many people to be deceived as to who is wrong or right. Indeed, many people were. But all that was permanently put to rest last Saturday, June 6, when Garba Shehu, released a Nigerian government press release on the matter. Without any doubt it became apparent who and which group is fighting for Biafra and which is not.
The press release proved that only IPOB had been spending money and expending efforts to disintegrate the zoo called Nigeria. Part of the release read: “A very deep and wide investigation by an agency of the Nigerian government, working with international partners have made us become aware that there are two interconnected campaigns being run concurrently by the IPOB in this regard. Both are using the cover of Christianity – and calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria. But the real purpose is to drive a wedge between the Nigeria government and its US and UK/European allies.”
In addition, the release warned: “Nigerians and the international community are advised to be wary of this divisive campaign which available evidence shows is being funded with a monthly spending of $85,000 USD since October 2019, with no records of the source of this largesse.”
From investigations, Biafrans are no longer under any illusions as to which group and persons are truly fighting for the independence of Biafra. They gave IPOB all the kudos. On the other hand, Tony Nnadi, Asari Dokubo and Ralph Uwazuruike are seen as detractors which they are.
Edited by Nelson Ofokar Yagazie
Publisher: Charles Opanwa