Former Minister Of Justice Akinjide Urges President Buhari To Dialogue With Pro-Biafra Protesters


Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Chief Richard Akinjide, has revealed that the campaign for an independent Biafra which some Igbo people are advocating for isn’t right and healthy for the country. He said that the country needs to be united to avoid it failing as we stand only when united. In an interview with Vanguard, Akinjide spoke about the selection of ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari and pointed out that the minister of the federal capital, Muhammadu Bello is from the north which has been the trend since the capital was moved from Lagos to Abuja.

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In the words of Chief Richard:

“He (Buhari) nominated very good people, I have no doubt about that. But my concern is with Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. When we were in Lagos as Federal Capital, Yar Adua was a Minister for Lagos and he came from the North. When Obasanjo was in office before the Capital Territory was created, a Yoruba person was in charge. But since the Capital Territory has been created, Northerners have been ministers throughout. I don’t think that is the best for the country.

I will like to see an Igbo, Yoruba, Middle-Belt man be a minister in charge of the Capital Territory. To consistently pick someone from the North as Minister for the Capital Territory is not in our national interest and is not good. I am not saying the people that have been picked are bad but I am talking about geographical spread. We should not give the impression that the capital territory belongs to a particular part of the country. It should be something that belongs to the whole country. That is the objection I have and I hope that will be corrected very soon.”

He further stated that there was no good reason to stand in favour of the agitation for Biafra as Igbos have served in great capacities in the country and begged the president to dialogue with them as it solves misunderstanding more effectively than anything.

“Anybody supporting Biafra must be very, very wrong. I don’t know their reason but whatever their reason, they are wrong. We fought a war for three years over Biafra and Biafra was defeated and the whole country united with the belief that Nigeria should remain one country and the Igbo joined the country and since then they have been governors in the country, they have been ministers both at the state and federal levels. They have been ambassadors abroad. I don’t see why anybody should now be asking for Biafra again, I think it should be rejected.

I think they (FG) should call them to a meeting and talk to them as father to son and ask them to stop because there is no reason for them to do what they are doing. In the last government, we had an Igbo as Minister of Finance (Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) and also, we had an Igbo as Secretary to the government, we also had Igbo as ambassadors in many parts of the world. So, there is no excuse for anybody to say he wants to break up the country again after we fought a bloody war of about three years. We don’t want to go back to that. We want peace everywhere and we want a fair share whether you are from the North, East, West, South, Middle-Belt everything should be evenly and fairly distributed”.