“Don’t follow Biafra” was the advice given to Nigerians by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The former president made this known while delivering an address at a public discussion on Biafra organised by Nextier Advisory in Abuja on Friday 15th January, 2016.
“Biafra agitation is as an industry; a means of making money. Biafra agitation is a hopeless and futile exercise of which nobody should embark on.”
The ex-president said that as far as he is concerned,that Biafra was born in error and out of ignorance and that it is a dead issue.
“The agitation was born in error and ignorance. Biafra as a secession issue is dead, and nobody should follow that way. I see it as a platform rather than a cause.”
Mr. Obasanjo also also said that the Biafran agitation by the Igbos is just a ploy to be noticed, but he added that it was not a bad idea if the Igbo were using the agitation as a platform to get more from Nigeria.
“If you want to use the agitation as a means to get more from the national cake, that is okay,” he said. “But not the break up of Nigeria. I will not be part of any discussion to break up Nigeria.”
He further condemns the agitation for Biafran independence by describing the issuance of a Biafran passport as something that will one no where.
“There is the commercialisation of the Biafran agitation, which is criminal – for example, the issuance of so-called Biafran passport which takes one nowhere.”
Biafran passport which was launched in 2009 by the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) as part of the program to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
The former leader of the the former leader of the group, Ralph Uwazuruike, said the introduction of the passport due to an incessant request from Biafrans in diaspora who believe without a doubt, that the fight for the sovereign state of Biafra will be won.
This has generated several controversies in the country as to whether such thing as a Biafran passport exist or not.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has stated emphatically that the information concerning the production and issuing of a United States of Biafra passport is false.
Reacting to this, the National Director of Information for MASSOB, Sunny Okereafor, in an interview with Vanguard, said the passport, given by the Biafran Directorate of Passport had already been used to travel outside Nigeria by many Biafran citizens without any difficulties.
“I assure you the Biafran passport is valid. Except Nigeria, other countries of the world accept Biafran passport and allow our citizens to travel with it. In Europe, North and South America, Biafra passport is accepted. Nigeria is the only country that seizes Biafran passport. Go to neighbouring Ghana here, they will stamp the passport for you. Don’t be confused by the propaganda of the Nigerian government that there is nothing like Biafran passport. MASSOB appeals to Biafran citizens to procure their passport and use it to travel. If you doubt me, get a Nigerian passport while I have my Biafran passport; when we get to Europe, you will see who they will welcome than the other.