A radical Igbo group, National Union of True Igbo Movement, NUTIM has warned that Nigeria risks serious security risks bordering on war unless the treason charges against the leader of Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB) Chief Ralph Uwazurike are immediately dropped by the Federal Government.
NUTIM National President, Dr Samfo Nwankwo in a statement in Owerri described as the height of hypocrisy the planned trial of the leader of a non-violent group while at the same time begging Boko Haram which has slaughtered thousands of people, including Igbo, with amnesty. He also raised the alarm that enemies of President Goodluck Jonathan might have procured the Supreme Court judgment as a means of provoking the Igbo to despise the President and turn their backs on him in 2015 elections. “NUTIM views the action of the Federal Government against Chief Uwazurike and MASSOB as a declaration of war against Ndigbo.
We shall fully respond as such if the federal government does not direct its judicial officials to drop the so-called treason charges against the MASSOB leader”, Dr Nwankwo warned. According to him, “since the end of the civil war, Igbo have been treated as second class citizens. Even as we have borne our sufferings quietly, another policy of annihilation has been unleashed on us”. “First, it was economic strangulation. Then it graduated to political marginalization. Now they want to exterminate us using the instrumentality of Boko Haram and extra-judicial killings by the security agencies.
Enough ought to be enough”, he said. Dr Nwankwo noted that whereas Igbo leaders have been restraining the youths from retaliatory killings, the recent Supreme Court judgment on Chief Uwazurike was capable of breaking whatever patience and restraint exercised by the entire Igbo race. He said it was an insult to the Igbo that while the federal government is spending trillions of naira trying to appease Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants, it has now decided to wage a war of attrition against MASSOB which has remained non-violent in all its activities. He also regretted that MASSOB and Igbos are being portrayed as being the problems of Nigeria whereas the federal government is hobnobbing with the real enemies. “We need our people to have overwhelming presence where issues concerning them, especially compensation for the victims are discussed. He who wears the shoes knows where it pinches most.” he submitted.