Uwazurike knows Biafra is impossible – Former Presidential adviser, Tanko Yakasai. Elder statesman and former presidential adviser in the Second Republic, Tanko Yakasai, has said that the reawakening of agitation for a new Biafra, the original being in the 1960s, is rather a ploy by Nnamdi Kanu to gather support from the Igbo and any of their sympathizers through turning the agitation to a political movement to score a political point. The elder statesman who revealed this during a chat with Daily Trust also said that Uwazurike who first began the agitation for the new Biafra during the time of Obasanjo has been quiet because he has realised that it is impossible to achieve Biafra based on so many indices.
Mr. Yakasai also said that, this is why the agitation is coming when “the South-West who are more interested in brewing trouble in the country and the Niger Delta people who are agitating for resource control joined forces with them to change the whole issue into restructuring.” Read the full chat below: Why is the agitation for Biafra gathering momentum in recent times? Well, the agitation for Biafra started soon after the demise of Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi. So the name is not new. The only difference is that the old Biafra actually was intended to occupy the whole of the southern region.
It was a scheme for getting the entire southern Nigeria to break away. The intention was to block the North from access to the sea. If that happened, the North would be starved of many things coming from the port, including fuel and imported items we rely upon. So that was the old Biafra. Because of that, when they were preparing to declare Biafra, southern minorities from the present day Cross River and Akwa Ibom led a delegation to the North to plead with General Hassan Usman Katsina, the then military governor of Northern Nigeria, to plead with the central government not to allow Biafran secession to succeed because, according to them, if it was allowed to succeed, they would remain forever as second class citizens in what would be known as Biafra. The young men are not agitating for the five Igbo-speaking states to constitute Biafra, rather, they are thinking of the old Eastern Region, with the four minority states, together with five majority Igbo-speaking states. You don’t dismiss idea by a wave of hand. But the practical aspect of it is very difficult because all along there has not been love lost between the Igbo and their minority. In fact, when Nigeria was to be granted independence and constitutional conference was held in 1957, the minorities in the East complained of oppression and marginalisation by the Igbo. They wanted their interest to be safeguarded in an independent Nigeria. It was agreed that a special arrangement would be made to protect their interest, and it was made with the creation of the Niger Delta Development Authority which was put under the care of Shehu Shagari, who was then the parliamentary secretary to the prime minister. It was decided that the development of the Niger Delta shall not come from the Eastern Region, even though they were located under the old regional government.