Rivers elders reject Biafra
Rivers elders reject Biafra
The Rivers Elders and Leaders Council (RELEC) Chairman Chief Albert Horsfall and Secretary Lawrence Ibiayenie, yesterday warned that Port Harcourt should not be turned to a battle ground by pro-Biafran agitators.
The elders described the protests by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as uncalled for. Rivers people are not Biafrans, they insisted.
According to them, it is wrong to transport Igbo youths in trailers and buses from the five states in the Southeast zone, to protest in Port Harcourt, thereby halting commercial activities, destroy property and cause untold hardship for motorists, commuters and pedestrians.
RELEC said: “The attempt by these elements (IPOB members) to focus on Port Harcourt for their political rascality is totally unacceptable and is hereby condemned by Rivers Elders and Leaders Council. The action so far taken by the Biafran protesters in Port Harcourt is highly provocative to all genuine sons and daughters of Rivers State, who have so far restrained themselves from confronting the demonstrators in Port Harcourt.
“The choice of Port Harcourt (for IPOB’s protests) may be a deliberate ploy to make the Rivers State capital the battle ground for any fracas that may follow their rascality. We reject these moves in its entirety and hereby repeat our warning that they (Biafran protesters) must desist forthwith.
“Rivers State people are not Biafrans and had never been and will never be. The RELEC wishes to call on all elders and leaders of the states from which these youths have been pouring into Port Harcourt, for this unwelcome and unwholesome political rascality, to call their youths to order and forbid them from forever staging further demonstrations and protests in Port Harcourt and other parts of Rivers State.
“RELEC wishes to observe the good neighbourly relationship which has always existed between Rivers people and their neighbours. We wish that the cordial and mutually beneficial relationship should continue to exist. Persons responsible for the pro-Biafra protests must immediately halt the unfriendly activities forthwith.”
Rivers elders and leaders also stated that they “strongly” supported Wike’s ban of protests in Rivers state, which they said would go a long way to promote peace, thereby moving the state forward.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike in a broadcast on Wednesday banned further protests by IPOB members and demonstrations by other groups.
The Rivers Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, also noted that his command would not allow lawlessness or breakdown of law and order.
Senate minority leader Senator Godswill Akpabio also condemned the Biafran agitators.
Speaking at the venue of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conference in Abuja, Akpabio, a former Akwa Ibom State governor, called on the Federal Government and the states where the militias are protesting to stop the spread of the agitation.
“The Biafra agitators must be told that those who witnessed the Nigerian civil war will never wish to experience another war in their entire lifetime.
“If you don’t like the government of the day, you must wait for another election to vote them out”, Akpabio said.