· Knocks French Ambassador over remarks on Biafra
A Biafra war veteran, Mr. Sasa Ugwumba Kalu Nwoke, popularly known as “ Corporal Nwafor” because of his exceptional bravery and adventures during the civil war, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to release the detained leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, without further delay.
The 65-year- old who spoke exclusively with The AUTHORITY in Umuahia, insisted that Kanu committed no crime in renewing the agitation for the restoration of Biafra republic, which he argued was within the limits of his fundamental human rights.
His words: “He ( Kanu) has done nothing wrong. He is not violent. He doesn’t spit blood, he should be released. What is the big idea in keeping him in prison?”
The Amaekpu-Ohafia - born war veteran and writer further argued that instead of continuing under forced union, the various ethnic groups in Nigeria had better go their separate ways and live in peace as neighbours.
“If a man marries and continues to quarrel with the wife, rather than kill each other, they better go their separate ways.
“Rather than all of us sink together everybody should be on his own. Give Biafra three years after independence and see how we will lead Africa.”
He said the agitation for Biafra had refused to abate because of the continued injustice and marginalisation against the Igbos and other ethnic groups in the break- away republic.
Nwoke expressed the confidence that Biafra would one day be actualised despite oppositions from the enemy, explaining that the agitation is for equity and justice.
“The people are not just asking for Biafra; they are asking for freedom. Freedom is not free, it is worth dying for.
“I have hope in Biafra. Nigeria has failed God and man. Nigeria is moribund. Nigeria is in the mortuary. It is like we don’t have a nation.
“The agitation for Biafra is still on because our kids have discovered that things are a million time worse than they were before the civil war. When I grew up in Enugu as a kid I never saw power failure until after the war.
“I am even surprised that the youths are not agitating as they should. In Nigeria of today, there are no jobs, the economy has gone so bad and life almost unbearable.
“It is better to get drawn in the Mediterranean than die of hunger in Nigeria.”
He however, regretted that the agitation for Biafra restoration is not currently enjoying the support of “ powerful organisations and nations” but expressed hope that despite human opposition , the new republic would one day be actualised.
“I am hanging around waiting for Biafra; I can’t be a politician because Nigerian politics is dirty”, he said.
Recalling his civil war experience, ‘ Corporal Nwafor’ who said he had no apologies for his role during the war, revealed that “ with two empty guns I sent 1000 Nigeria solders running at Ohaji Egbema”.
“If I had fought on the Nigerian side during the war, I would have committed suicide by now. Nigeria is a disgrace to the black race because of bad leadership”, he fumed.
He berated the French Ambassador, Denys Gauer over his recent remarks that France would not support the current agitation for Biafra.
France was Biafra’s major ally during the 30- month civil war but the diplomat recently told journalists that his country would not support any move to dismember Nigeria which he said is France’s strategic partner.
‘Corporal Nwafor’ expressed shock at the statement credited to the French diplomat, saying the views must have been his personal opinion.
He recalled that France was very supportive of Biafra during the first secession bid and wondered how it could make a u- turn when the agitation had not been actualised.
“But for France we would have all perished of hunger during the war. So, for the Ambassador to have said this, maybe he was bribed or he wanted to curry favour from Nigeria.
“ He was definitely not speaking from God. I am sure he was speaking the devil’s language. What has Nigeria offered the world as a united country?”