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The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), on Friday declared that it was abominable for the Igbo to kneel to people in order to mount the saddle of power.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that the recent call by two prominent Igbo leaders – Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary of the Government of the Federation, and Chukwuemeka Ezeife, elder statesman, and former governor of Anambra State on the North to cede the post of the President to a Nigerian of Igbo extraction, is already generating a lot of reactions amongst some Igbo socio-political groups.
The leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu made the opinion of the group public while reacting to what he considers as the ‘insensitive and insulting remarks’ allegedly made by Senator Anyim and Chief Ezeife, on the desire for an Igbo man to become the next President of Nigeria. He posited that the Igbo are not slaves to power.
Madu condemned what he sees as the appealing or kowtowing tendencies of the two Igbo statesmen that portray Ndigbo as being ready to kneel down in begging for the position of Nigerian president. According to the MASSOB leader, a beggar only begs for something that does not belong to him, stressing that a beggar is always inferior to the giver.
He insisted: ‘Ndigbo are not beggars. It is an abomination that Igbo elders will kneel down for another. Even though the lives of Ndigbo are at risk, we can never beg; rather, we devise our own means of fighting back because Igbos must survive. Ndigbo are not cowards or weaklings.’
He advised Igbo elders to stop making disgraceful and disrespectful utterances in their quest for the President of Nigeria. ‘Occupying the seat of the President of Nigeria is not the greatest need of Ndigbo now,’ he said. ‘Ndigbo want Biafra, not Igbo presidency.’
He urged Igbo elders and leaders to seriously embark on convincing thousands of Igbo entrepreneurs, estate developers, international businessmen, captains of industry, great researchers, world-class engineers, religious leaders to start rapid development and investment in Igbo land. He added that being a president of Nigeria for four or eight years is not the ultimate desire of Ndigbo.
The National President of Indigenous Igbo Youth Congress (IIYC), Chief Mayor Echefu, who also supported the MASSOB leader’s stance, pointed out that Igbo do not kneel for anybody or group, but only to Almighty God.
Said he: ‘Dr. Ezeife is a respected Igbo leader; we hold him in high esteem. We have always followed and agreed with him in the pursuit of Igbo cause and agenda, but on this issue of kneeling to beg for presidency, we are not with him. It is not our culture to kneel for any mortal; when others were bowing and kneeling for the Whiteman, we didn’t do that, so why should we do that today?’
Like Madu, he insisted that ‘we are not asking for the presidency; all we are asking and clamouring for is our freedom for us to go and develop at our own pace.
‘The North that has produced the president for 41 out of 60 years since independence, where are they? All the negative indices of underdevelopment are prevalent in that region. What have they done with their long-hold on power? Can their leaders visit their villages? That is hypocritical on their own part.’
He also took a swipe at the President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima, who in his reply to Ezeife noted that it was already too late for the Igbo to beg for presidency. He accused Shettima of seeking relevance and added that he should be ashamed of his region.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK