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Self-determination is our ultimate goal, priority, not presidency - Dr. Ikedife

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THE former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, has thrown his weight behind the agitation for the restoration of Biafra saying what is of paramount importance to the Igbos now is self-determination and not presidency.

He made the declaration in a chat with with the New Telegraph. He said the issue of Igbo presidency has been debated for too long and is not of any relevance again adding that self-determination is what is uppermost on the mind of every Igbo man.

Asked his view on the activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) he minced no words in declaring his full support.


What does Ndigbo want; the presidency or restructuring of Nigeria to ensure true federalism?

I used to be the spokesman of Ndigbo but not now, but to the best of my understanding, I can tell you that Ndigbo have talked about the presidency for long and I don’t think that it is the uppermost in their minds for now.

I think what is uppermost in their minds is self-determination, let the system be restructured so that there will be equity and fairness.

But, some people are apprehensive of self-determination over the belief that it will dismember Nigeria…

It is a matter of opinion as others think that it is overdue. Some may think that we may never have it, while some think that this is the right time. These are various shades of opinion and point of view.

That means you are aligning yourself with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)…

Why not and what is wrong with that?

Of course I am in agreement with that, and like I said, Ndigbo are not really talking about the presidency, they are talking about equity and fairness in the country’s polity.

But many believe that some of the issues you raised can be resolved politically…

The problem of Nigeria can be resolved through dialogue and legality, what is proper, with a sense of equity and fairness. Even if you go political and you don’t have sense of fairness, you will not find any solution.

If you allow dialogue to take place, with sincerity of mind on both sides, sense of consideration of other peoples’ interest and a sense that nothing is sacrosanct, you are bound to resolve the issues.

Nigeria is a matter of convenience as some of past leaders have said. You will recall that late former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, did say that Nigeria is a mere geographical expression.

You will also recall that former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, at a time said the elements that make for one Nigeria do not exist.

You will equally recall that the North was at a time shouting ‘Araba,’ meaning let’s go our separate ways. These were opinions expressed at one time or the other. They are not strange opinions and no one was crucified for expressing such views.

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