BIM/MASSOB warns against mass exodus of Igbo in north, west zones
By Athan Agbakwuru, Owerri
Following fears of possible outbreak of violence in parts of Nigeria before, during and after the 2023 general elections, the Biafra Independence Movement and Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, BIM/MASSOB, have restated its earlier position against mass exodus of Ndígbo from northern or western parts of Nigeria, in case of any crisis.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Director of Information/Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity BIM/MASSOB, Elder Chris Anierobi Mocha, the group considered mass exodus as counterproductive as it has resulted in more loss of lives and property of Ndígbo in times of conflict, hence it adopted the non-exodus approach.
In the text titled, “Why BIM /MASSOB Is Still Reluctant To Order Igbos Resident In Northern Nigeria To Relocate To Biafra Over February General Elections,” Mocha disclosed that the leadership of BIM/MASSOB Monday analyzed the February 2023 general elections in Nigeria and observed that since independence, it had been impossible for the country to transit from civilian to civilian rule, without resultant conflict, and 2023 may not be different.
The movement recalled sadly that each time Nigeria tried to transit from civilian to another civilian government, that there had been problems which some time resulted in military take over of government.
According to him, “with the killings of people in all parts of the country with impunity in order for the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC-led federal government to retain political power at all cost, the stage is set again for another round of major crises in Nigeria.”
Mocha observed that there is palpable fear and anxiety all over the country presently that the inevitable will happen, going by what the rising political tension and prevailing fragile security situation in the country.
His words, “A lot of members of BIM /MASSOB who lives outside Igbo land are very anxious as what to do on or before the presidential contest come February 2023. Some persons have also asked us if they are to relocate to Biafra or Southeast.
“Some of the leaders of our affiliate bodies in overseas (names with held) who are convinced that BIM /MASSOB Is the official organization speaking for the cause of Biafra in any capacity have advised our people living outside south east should endeavor to relocate before the jinxed month of February 2023 .
“But having studied the situation side by side with our motto of non-violence and non -exodus philosophy, we came up with the advise that our people should not run from their places of residence because it is against BIM/MASSOB’s method of non-exodus.
“Recall that the Igbo elders’ forum had in a paid advertorial on national dailies after their meeting on saturday january 28, 2012, at the independence layout residence of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, announced that our people living in the northern part of the country should send back home their wives and children while the men could stay back to monitor their huge investments in the various states of the north.”
The decision by the Igbo Elders’ Forum, according to Elder Mocha, was reached after so many hours of exhaustive deliberations bothering on reports and review of earlier consultations with Igbo at home.
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Further in the statement subtitled, “Our Critical Analysis And Position,” Mocha explained that the principle of non-exodus is that no member of MASSOB or rather BIM/MASSOB(Igbo) should be encouraged to leave his base on account of fear or intimidation by the Hausa or Yoruba in Nigeria.
He said, “In formulating this principle for MASSOB or rather BIM/MASSOB, care was duly taken to ensure that Igbos do not risk their lives and property due to running from place to place in the event of crises in the evil country called Nigeria.
“We also looked into how the Igbo had suffered untold hardship in the hands of Hausa and Yoruba and in some cases Edo and Middle Belt peoples who usually took the advantage of any crisis situation in Nigeria to block the roads against our people and dispossess them of their property and money while trying to escape for their dear lives.
“In most cases, our people wasted their lives on account of road accidents in the event of running away from the affected area in Nigeria.
“As the official body recognised by the United Nations, UN, to speak for Biafra, we, therefore came reluctantly to the conclusion that the best thing our people should do is not to embark on wholesome exodus each time there is any crisis in Nigeria whether religious or political.
“BIM/MASSOB feels that the number of lives lost during crisis situation are more than what could actually be lost if we ( Igbos) had remained in our places of residence in Nigeria
“We know that if there is any fallout in the february 2023 election in Kano, the ordinary Hausa man will fight against nyamiri not minding whether he is yoruba, edo or igbo just as if the same fight is taking place in lagos or ibadan, the ordinary alaye boy will fight and declare war on the looting of igbo property and killing the igbo man. East or west, it is always the Igbo man that is the casualty, he posited.
Mocha maintained that the answer to the February presidential election in Nigeria is not to run from our places of residence because it is against BIM/MASSOB’s principle of non-exodus.
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