Against the backdrop of renewed secessionist agitations, nine socio-cultural organizations under the aegis, Ukomu Igala have kicked against what they described as the wrongful inclusion of the Igala nation in the ‘Biafra map’
The groups during a world press conference they addressed Wednesday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press centre, Lokoja, stated that they are committed to upholding the unity, oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria.
They described the present agitation that has included Igala people on paper as not only provocative but very insulting to the Igala race.
According to the group spokesperson, Hon. Barry Idakwo, the declaration of Igala kingdom as a clan by the Biafra agitators is ‘definitely a product of ignorance of history and mischief’.
“It is therefore unthinkable to annex the Igala kingdom without consulting us. Probably this may be due to the erroneous belief that Igala kingdom is a clan thus not important to consult the people of the great Igala kingdom before being annexed as part of the agitation.
“This is against the spirit of fairness, sovereignty, equity, peaceful cohabitation and democracy to forcefully and falsely claim that a great kingdom as the Igala kingdom, which was never defeated in any war is part of Biafra” Idakwo explained”, he asserted.
They urged their Igbo brothers to engage the Nigeria nation more purposefully for quality governance, rather than agitations for separatist state.
They extended their message to the Northern youths to embrace the oneness of Nigeria as a nation.
He underscore why Nigeria must remain an indivisible nation, saying, “We, as a people in the Middle Belt crave for peace at all times because when war breaks out, we will be at the receiving end as the theatre of war. The last civil war holds very unpleasant testimonies”.
Idakwo expressed dismay that there is minimal federal presence in terms of infrastructure and economic activities in the Igala kingdom, even when their allegiance and commitment to the stability of the Federal Government remain total.
They called on the federal government to look into issues that may threaten the peace and development of the Igala kingdom, including the need to continue urgently the construction of the Bagana-Guto bridge to ease access to the Federal Capital Territory, and encourage economic activities, unity and proximity to the centre of governance and establishment of a full-fledged naval base at Idah, an army barrack in Olamaboro local government area and and the swearing in the minister from Kogi State, Prof Stephen Ikani Ocheni immediately to afford them the sense of belonging and input to national affairs.