The Itsekiri people of Delta state, under the aegis of Itsekiri Leaders of Thought, ILoT, have lashed out at the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, for including their land in the territories covered by Biafra map.
The tribe, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Chief Edward Ekpoko and Secretary, A. S. Mene, insisted that the Itsekiri people are not part of Biafra.
According to the ILOT, “Itsekiri homeland of Warri is not part of that enterprise. We recall with pains the day the defunct Biafra Army invaded Warri and Benin in the then Midwestern Region on the 9th of August, 1967 and say never again will the Itsekiri tolerate such an invasion.
“The Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality is committed to the unity of Nigeria and will do all it can to promote and protect it as one and indivisible country. We can always seat and dialogue on our differences.
“As Major General Phillip Effiong said on 14th January, 1970 that the Republic of Biafra ceased to exist so we the Itsekiri wish it to be eternally for the peace and development of our great Nation.
“While we condemn the ultimatum given by some Arewa youths to the Igbos to quit the North, we commend the Arewa Consultative Forum, the Northern Governors Forum especially Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State for their bold steps in condemning the youths.”
Urging Igbo elders to bring agitators to order, ILOT said, “To call the Igbo youths who have been using Biafra to destabilize the nation to order. Perhaps if the Igbo elders did what Arewa Consultative Forum and the Northern elders are doing, this tension would have been avoided.”