Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Omo-Agege to Igbos: Count Urhobos out of Biafra Republic

Omo-Agege to Igbos: Count Urhobos out of Biafra Republic

 AS the conversation continues on Igbo’s agitation for Biafra, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central Senatorial District, has urged Biafra agitators to exclude the Urhobos from their self-determination agenda.

The senator, who got his ticket through the Labour Party (LP), but recently defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), aired this view in a statement titled: “We are Urhobos and Nigerians, not Biafrans,” which he signed and made available to journalists on Wednesday in Warri, Delta State.

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Obaisi, as he’s fondly called, lashed out on the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for “irresponsibly” and “forcefully” including the Urhobos in their agenda without due consultations.

He condemned the unilateral inclusion of the Urhobos by the agitating groups in their concocted flag and map as a slap and an attempt to suppress the Urhobo nation.

“With the deluge of concerns being raised by my people, it has become necessary to state with absolute clarity as the senator for the Urhobo nation in the 8th Senate of our Federal Republic of Nigeria that the Urhobo nation has never been, is not and does not wish to be part of Biafra.

“Whereas Article 1 (2) of the United Nations Charter recognises the “principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”, this, obviously, does not grant any group the right to arbitrarily usurp the self-determination right of others.

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“MASSOB, IPOB or whatever ethnic-leaning group may have the right to agitate for self-determination for the people they represent. But that right would be encroaching and trampling severely and irresponsibly on the rights of other ethnic groups if, without consultations or any consensus whatsoever, they (MASSOB, IPOB or whatever ethnic-leaning group) decides to forcefully include others in their self-determination agenda.

“The Urhobo nation totally rejects such unforgivable disrespect that touches on our very existence.

“Indeed, the unilateral inclusion of the Urhobo nation in the flag or map of Biafra is an abhorrent, and condemnable threat to our people.

“It is an unacceptable attempt to suppress our own right to self-determination. We will never tolerate it and it must stop forthwith,” Omo-Agege warned.

Speaking further on the Urhobo nation’s displeasure at the arbitrariness of the Igbo groups, the senator noted that “We are cautioning against this trend of arbitrariness and disregard for the rights of others because we know that such a ‘conquest mentality’ has never promoted sustainable peace in human history.

“The Urhobo nation believes in the unity of the Nigeria Federation. Our preference, as a major strategic partner in our Federation, is to work hard to correct its imperfections, not to break it up into bits and pieces.

“I will continue to work with my great and highly respected colleagues of Ndigbo extraction and other parts of our country in the National Assembly to perfect our union, not break it.

“In all, this is our simple and firm position: we are Urhobos and Nigerians, not Biafrans.”

It will be recalled that MASSOB and IPOB had, recently, rolled out the proposed flag and map of their dream Biafra republic in which several ethnic nationalities such as the Urhobos, Itsekiris, Ijaws, Ibibios, Ikwere from across the Niger Delta and parts of the middle belt were included.

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