Urhobo leaders under the auspices of Urhobo Leaders of Thought have condemned the proposed Biafra Republic map including Urhobo as one its territory, stressing that Urhobo people do not share cultural and socio custom with Igbo people in the southern part of the country.
ULT in a statement on Saturday signed by its Secretary-General, Mr. Mumakai Unugha, also condemned the recent quit ultimatum handed over to Igbo residents in the northern part of the country describing it as reckless and provocative.
The leaders posited that while Urhobo ethnic nationality was not against the secessionist movement by some Igbo youths, it was however unfortunate to draw a map involving the Niger Delta region where Urhobo Nation is a major stakeholder of the territory.
According to them, “Ordinarily, the Urhobo nation is not against any group or group of persons seeking self-determination as guaranteed by the United Nations Charter on human right, but the inclusion of Urhobo as part of Igbo territory is an aberration, anathema which will never see the light of day.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that the Urhobo is not part and will never be part of Biafra. We urged them to go back to their drawing board to correct the gross error of including Urhobo into their ill-planned republic.
“The Urhobo people with unique cultural identity are not in any way common to that of the Igbos. Above all, the Urhobo nation and the Igbo have no common boundary but brought together by the force of arms by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to accept Asaba as State headquarter when he created Delta State.”
The statement called on the federal government to organise a forum where the component units that made the Nigeria state would sit to address the various agitations and problems confronting the country.
It added, “On the three months quit order ultimatum issued to the Igbos to leave the North, though, is unfortunate, we, however, call on the Federal Government to deal with the issues diplomatically. It is our view that force should not be applied to avoid degenerating or adding to the already tensed situation. The Urhobo Leaders of Thought does not believe in the use of force.
“It is our humble view that Northern elders including traditional rulers should intervene to avoid escalation. In the same token, elders from the South East should prevail on their own groups to sheath their swords of their constant embarrassment of the nation through self-determination struggle.”