THE Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide has said that the South-South region is not part of Biafra and called on the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra to stop claiming that states in the region are among the territories of Biafra.
The IYC, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Henry Iyalla, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, decried a statement credited to one of MASSOB’s leaders, Solomon Chukwu, claiming that the South-South region was part of the Biafran territory.
Explaining that Chukwu’s statement was published in some national dailies on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, the IYC pointed out that the Ijaw and Niger Delta struggle for self-determination predated the agitation for a sovereign state of Biafra.
“The attention of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide has been drawn to a statement credited to one MASSOB leader, Solomon Chukwu, published in some newspapers of Tuesday June 6, 2017, declaring that the South-South region is included in the territory of Biafra which MASSOB, IPOB and other self-determination movements are agitating for.
“This comment has been made by other Biafra leaders in different fora. For the records, the IYC wishes to state as follows; that the Ijaw and Niger Delta people identify with the Biafran struggle for self-determination.
“However, we wish to state clearly that the Ijaw and Niger Delta struggle for self-determination predates the Biafran agitations. It is on record that even before the Biafra declaration of independence in 1967, Major Jasper Adaka Boro, during a 12-day revolution, declared a Niger Delta Republic in 1966.
“This was before the advent and struggle for the actualisation of Biafra. The Ijaw and Niger Delta people had always maintained separate and distinct identity from our Igbo brothers of the South-East,” the statement read in part.
The IYC insisted that the Ijaw areas were not ‘part and parcel’ of the territory of Biafra.
“We will collaborate with our South-East, Middle Belt and any other minority groups in the quest for self-determination based on mutual respect and common understanding.
“In the coming days, we will start the constructive engagement on these terms,” the IYC statement further read.