OPC Urges FG To Dialogue With Biafra Agitators

The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has urged the federal government to dialogue with members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

This was the position of the National President of the group, Otuba Gani Adams, who opined that it is only through dialogue that the Biafra agitators can be made to drop the idea of a Biafra state; adding that the use of force is incapable of guaranteeing the unity of the country.

Adams made the comments at Osogbo, the Osun state capital, after he was honoured by the Nigeria Union of Journalists Correspondents in the state as a cultural ambassador.

According to The Punch, the OPC leader also bared his mind on the recent clash between the Nigerian Army and Shiites sect members in Zaria, Kaduna, which claimed many lives. He condemned the killings of members of the sect.

Speaking on the Biafra agitation, Adams: ”I will just say that they (Biafra agitators) are entitled to their own self-determination. Look, there is a law in Africa that recognises right to self-determination. Also, there is a law in United Nations that recognises right to self-determination. There is a country in the United Nations that has a population of not up to 50,000 and their flag is at the United Nations.

“You can’t use force to co-opt people for the unity of Nigeria; you have to listen to their agitation. If we cannot give you secession, should we give you statism or regionalism? That is a process of negotiating. The British did not use force against Scotland when it seceded from Britain, and there is Catalona in Spain that wants to pull out, they didn’t use force against them.”

He also berated the killing of five supporters of Biafra, who were jubilating the release of Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu, by a Federal High Court, adding that it was uncalled for.

Speaking on the Zaria incident, Adams said: “What happened in Kaduna is not what Nigerians are expecting right now, especially with the crisis of Boko Haram, the agitation of the MASSOB. I will appeal to the military and other security agencies to be calm when they have provocation from different citizens of this country.

“In civilised country, you don’t kill your citizens like that, even when they provoke you, you should pamper them in order to avoid such ugly situation. Even though they embarrassed the Chief of Army Staff, they (the army) should have disarmed them and arrest the leader for questioning and not using weapon to kill people like that. International community will not overlook such a thing.

“Killing armless and innocent people like fowl should not be accepted in any sane democracy. The president have to be very careful, he should not play into the hands of some people.”

Meanwhile, governors of the 19 northern states of Nigeria called on those agitating for a separate country to tread the path of caution.