A pro-Biafra group, the Customary Government of IPOB, CG-IPOB, has expressed concern over the nonchalant attitude of many Igbo people on the need to restore the Igbo indigenous identity which, it says, was stolen by foreign interest groups with the aid of internal collaborators.
In a press statement made available to Fides and signed by Ndubuisi Anaenugwu, Director, Directorate of Information, CG-IPOB, the group said it was evident from the various town hall meetings across Biafraland that what it called knowledge gaps abound.
'There are people who still see the name, Biafra as war. There are others who are afraid of losing their property outside Biafra land. Others are merely afraid of the unknown or unfavourable change of status,' CG-IPOB stated.
It however reassured all Biafrans that the coming of a new nation, Biafra, was the last hope for the black race, even as it said it was not unaware that over 60% of privately-owned investments throughout Nigeria were owned by Ndigbo.
It said it was because of such investments that many Igbo elite had become a cog on the wheel of Biafra's realization, even when under international laws and conventions no country had the right to confiscate the property of anybody without going through the normal legal processes.
It recalled how the Nigerian government had used the Indigenization Policy against those who invested outside their countries, as well as the Abandoned Property Policy, which it said, was used to encourage people to steal the property of their Igbo brothers in Rivers State.
'The later was done in order to help increase the gulf of disunity between Igbo and their immediate neighbours and brothers. Nigeria, through this, planned and successfully destabilised cohesion and introduced suspicion amongst Biafran brothers. Well, it was possible because Biafra was 'defeated' and reabsorbed into the Nigerian state. Nobody would have done that inside a Sovereign Biafra State. Today Biafrans are Nigerian citizens and can only lose such citizenship right on denunciation. Right now Nigeria, has not abolished dual citizenship of her nationals,' Anaenugwu stated in the release.
He said that even after Biafra restoration, Biafrans who wished to, could still retain their Nigerian citizenship and reside and do business in Nigeria as free citizens. In that sense they would be expected to obey Nigerian Islamic Laws and be affected by the Nigerian Làws equally as any other person in the country.
'These laws should include the làw on ownership of property. For example today in the United States and elsewhere, all citizens equally enjoy the same protection of the laws, including our brothers that are also American citizens.
'Therefore, nothing should prevent a Biafran-Nigerian citizen resident in Kano from being affected equally as any other Kano residents if he chooses to use his Housing Estate for an Islamic School. The truth is that even as Biafrans do business in Nigeria, Nigerians will be doing business in Biafra. This is why we are against any pro-Biafran group whipping up hate campaigns against Nigerians and the Nigerian leadership.
'After all, USA and Britain once fought a war for/against American Independence. Today the two nations are best of friends. Biafra and Nigeria should exist side-by-side às good neighbours. Nobody gains anything with warring or hostile neighbours,' the group stated.
It disclosed that the Customary Government of IPOB had established all the diplomatic contacts and still opening new diplomatic frontiers to ensure that powerful nations were carried along in what it called the sacred mission to restore Biafra.
'The truth remains that no Biafran property will be confiscated by Nigeria if Biafra is restored,' said the group.