Unbeknown to many there are at-least 3 major groups agitating for the secession of the south east and most of the south-south geographical area from Nigeria known as Biafra.
Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and regardless that these groups are gunning for one aim, leaders of IPOB and MASSOB Maazi Nnamdi Kanu and Chief Ralph Uwazuruike do not see eye to eye.
Biafra was first declared a sovereign state on 30th May 1967 ,an action that resulted in a 30 month civil war in Nigeria. Its declaration by late Biafran war lord, Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu who was governor of the eastern region of Nigeria then , was influenced by series of political upheavals that started with the January 15th 1966 Coup and the counter Coup of July of the same year led by Northern Officers.
Decades after the Nigerian Civil war and with the restoration of democracy in Nigeria after decades of Military rule in 1999, the agitation for Biafra’s restoration sprung up with Movement for Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), formed in 1999 by Ralph Uwazuruike.
History has it that IPOB being led by the vociferous Nnamdi Kanu grew out of MASSOB between 2012 to 2014, as Kanu fell out with Uwazuruike in 2009 and emerged as IPOB leader in 2012 and IPOB with its Radio Biafra as a tool of disseminating information has reportedly grown stronger each year with presence and members both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.
Continuous scandals of accusation on Uwazuruike’s MASSOB has somehow kept it on decline, On 30th November 2015, a major faction emerged from the group and tried to expel Uwazuruike, alleging he had compromised the secessionist cause and pocketed some 100 million naira (about $500,000) of the group’s funds. This weakened Uwazuruike popularity and dented the image of the MASSOB struggle.
The declining MASSOB recently scored a huge point from their own perspective as they succeeded in having Biafra enlisted as a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) in the Hague, Netherlands. An achievement that Nnamdi Kanu has mocked on Radio Biafra yesterday.
Kanu the leader of IPOB slighted the progress and particularly took a swipe on Uwazuruike for allegedly taking the matters of the Igbo to the (UNPO) ,he alleged that Uwazuruike paid two thousand dollars to smuggle a letter to UNPO to get the attention of the union towards Igbo’s plight in Nigeria.
He maintained that IPOB had already gotten the attention of well known groups such as the UN and AU, wondering why Uwazuruike should belittle the efforts put into the struggle by other Igbo pressure groups.
According to Kanu “all because he wants to be relevant , because he knows we are getting Biafra soon , he now ran to UNPO that has the same status with our World Igbo Congress.”
He continued “UNPO has nothing to do with Biafra, Uwazuruike has destroyed Biafra name, a man who built his house with Biafra money, he said he has taken Biafra to UNPO, is UNPO part of UN, the group has nothing to do with Biafra.” Kanu berated.