The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra has told governors, monarchs and politicians in the South-East and South-South to be ready to go on exile should they accept the establishment of cattle ranches in the regions.
MASSOB also explained that it would not accept any attempt to establish emirates in the two geo-political zones through the setting up of ranches, adding that the Igbo would not allow itself to be pushed to the wall.
The group’s Director of Information, Mr Sunday Okereafor, told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview on Saturday that the Federal Government was inciting violence with the plan to establish ranches outside the northern part of the country.
Describing cattle rearing as a personal business, Okereafor said it was necessary for the Federal Government to allow herdsmen to handle their business the way other Nigerians managed their personal business.
He said, “We (MASSOB) are telling the world that the Nigerian Government is inciting violence. They want to bring problem to the South-South and the South-East by bringing ranches.
“But we are not for violence. The so-called governors and politicians who think that ranches can be brought to the South-East and South-South should be prepared to go on exile. They want to establish emirate in Owerri, emir of Uyo, emir of Port Harcourt and emir of Calabar, Awka and Onitsha.
“Now, we are telling the politicians, the monarchs, governors and lawmakers who are supporting this course that they should be prepared to go to exile and leave our eastern Nigeria alone because we cannot be pushed to the wall and be asked to standby. We have to defend our right now; they cannot impose ranches and Emirates on us.”
Okereafor also criticised Igbo who crowned themselves kings of Ndigbo outside the South-East, adding that the tag, ‘Eze Ndigbo of Akure, Ibadan, Kano or Kaduna’ was wrong, adding that no Igbo man could be king outside Igboland.
He stated, “The Eze Ndigbo you see in the North and West are political monarchs; it is wrong for any Igbo man to go outside Igboland and claim that he is Eze Ndigbo of that area. Have you ever seen Oba of Yorubaland in Imo State?”
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Government has asked the Indigenous People of Biafra to remain peaceful in all its activities, saying anything short of that would be resisted by the people.
The advice came following the announcement by the pro-Biafran group that it would conduct a referendum to determine a sovereign state of Biafra.
The group in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said IPOB had printed 40 million ballot papers for the exercise.
Speaking with one of our correspondents on Saturday, the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Don Adinuba, said the people of the state cherished the peace and security in the area.
He said the people would not tolerate anything that would disrupt the peace and harmony that had existed in the state over time.
He said, “We expect IPOB to remain peaceful in all they do. Anambra is one of the most peaceful states in the country and investors are flocking daily to the state. Investment is a coward that won’t want to go where there is a threat to peace and security.
“The people of the state, not government, will not tolerate anything that will disrupt the social harmony that has existed in the state.”
Adinuba, who said he wouldn’t disclose the government’s plans to counter any move to thwart the peace in the state, assured the people that any threat to the social harmony in the state would be met with maximum force.
Also, the Anambra Police Command said adequate measures had been put in place to ward off any violent agitation from anybody or group of persons in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Haruna Mohammed, said adequate security arrangement “has been put in place by the command in conjunction with other sister agencies to forestall any breakdown of law and order.’’