From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has accused the Federal Government of marginalising the South East and South South geopolitical zones in the disbursement of the stimulus package to poor Nigerians against the effect of lockdown occasioned by coronavirus.
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, claimed that “while the National Cash Transfer Office handling the disbursement has concentrated on people from the Northern zones, only few persons in one state of the South East were remembered in the largess.”
The statement read in part :” IPOB has observed with utter shock and dismay, the criminal lopsidedness of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led federal government in the on-going disbursement of the federal palliative to poor Nigerians to cushion the effect of the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.
“A critical analysis of the information on the data base of the NCT office on the number of beneficiares from the largess on zone by zone basis, reveals that South East is at the bottom of the table just after South South where as Northern zones come top. This is provocative and a blatant confirmation that Nigeria has incurable hatred for Ndigbo and indeed other Biafrans in the Old Easthern region.
“This continued rejection and humiliation of the people of old Eastern region is a confirmation that the Fulani -led federal government does not see us as part of this concocted cage called Nigeria. Nigeria state and her agency headed by Fulani people are making it more open for those who don’t know that Biafrans are not part of Nigeria.”
Continuing, IPOB said :”It’s baffling why NCT office limited the number of beneficiaries of the cash transfer from the federal government to paltry 3, 253 in South East; and 10,429 to South South respectively.This is more annoying when juxtaposeed with the number of beneficiaries from Northern zones and the South West zone.”
The statement claimed that statistics from the website of the NCTO shows the beneficiaries’ geographical spread as follows: “North West, 112,744 persons; North Central, 88,008; North East, 44,405; and South West, 39,134.
“What other information does this criminal discrimination show other than open rejection for South East and South South zones? Can the world now see why we earnestly yell for Biafra?
“Our renewed and unwavering agitation for Biafra is anchored on the truth that we have been reduced to dehumanising second class citizens in the Nigeria our fathers fought so hard to free from British colonialism. We shall not give up in our quest for Biafra until this task is achieved because that is only where our dignity, security and justice as a people can be guaranteed.
“We, therefore, call on our brothers and sisters who for pecuniary gains have continued to collaborate with our tormentors to wise up and join us in the great fight for our common liberation “.
The statement further read :”While unprovoked and barbaric killing of Christians in the most dehumanising form has continued unabated by Fulani herdsmen and terrorists in Nigeria, Biafrans who constitute 95% of the Christian community in the country have also continued to suffer from political exclusion, criminal marginalisation and deep-rooted hatred from the Fulani led federal government of President Buhari.”
IPOB argued that “if government can have the guts to discriminate against Nigerians in a time like this when there is global pandemic, at no time shall Biafrans expect love and equal treatment from the federal government”.
“It’s more annoying considering the fact that the bulk of the resources that sustain Nigeria come from oil revenue in Biafra land. Again, majority of the individual donors towards the relief effort on Covid-19 pandemic also come from Biafra. What have we done to deserve this unending hatred by Nigerian?
“We therefore, wish to reiterate that the pursuit and agitation to restore Biafra as a sovereign nation is our prerogative right which no one has the power to stop. Biafrans must come together to demand for the independent state of Biafra now or be ready to receive more insults and provocative treatments from Fulani dominated federal government”, IPOB said.