THE Pan Niger Delta Forum and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra have disagreed on Sunday’s declaration of a new Biafran de facto government by a former Niger Delta militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo.
Asari-Dokubo, apart from declaring himself the leader of the new Biafra de facto government, had announced names of some officials, who would work with him.
The former agitator, who cited injustice and marginalisation against the Igbo in various zones of the country as reasons for seeking a better life for his people, said in a statement that the new Biafra administration would set up a provincial structure of government.
But while PANDEF expressed dissatisfaction over the declaration and called for the restructuring of the country instead, MASSOB described Asari-Dokubo’s action as a welcome development.
The spokesman for PANDEF, Mr Ken Robinson, said though the bias under the current regime was a contributory factor to the increasing call for secession by some ethnic nationalities, the forum was not created as a secessionist group.
Robinson told The PUNCH on Monday, “We are not aware of the ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region that have communicated to us where they belong. We have seen some maps of ethnic nationalities or so-called republics, where some parts of the Niger Delta are crafted into Oduduwa Republic.
“We have also seen maps that have been made concerning Biafra Republic, where some other parts of Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Delta states have also been crafted into the so-called Biafra Republic.
“But the Pan Niger Delta Forum is not a secessionist organisation. We believe in one Nigeria, but our concern is the way and manner the country is being governed. So, we are asking for the restructuring of the country for it to attain true federalism.”
However, MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Mr Sunday Okereafor, hailed Asari-Dokubo’s courage and added that the former fighter had been one of the pillars of the pro-Biafra body.
Okereafor said, “We signed an agreement with them in 2004. Asari-Dokubo, Ateke Tom, Tompolo, Boyloaf and a lot of others; we signed a treaty to work together as one group. Asari said in Newswatch magazine that they were proud of the Igbo and MASSOB.
“So, we welcome Asari-Dokubo’s declaration yesterday (Sunday). It is a welcome idea. Anybody criticising him does not know about the struggle. Asari-Dokubo is one of the pillars in the MASSOB/BIM struggle. We were formerly Eastern Nigeria, and then the Nigerian government is saying it is now South-South and South-East.”