Speaking in the eventful Biafra Genocide Exhibition currently going on at Goldsmiths University, London, Dr Philip Effiong Jr, the son of former vice president of Biafra, General Philip Effiong, said that the non-Igbo areas in the Eastern part of Nigeria are Biafrans no doubt.
Not only are they Biafrans, Effiong argued, but they are also well informed on that. Effiong who held a brief interactive session expressed pains that some people would want to deny their identity because of politics.
Recall that after the war, the Nigerian government then led by Yakubu Gowon, sought to wholesomely destabilize Biafra through the instrumentality of divide and rule. To this end, he cut off the non-Igbo speaking areas of Biafra and called them minority groups. Subsequent governments, seeking to perfect the balkanization of Biafra as already set on the role by Gowon, gave them a new identity – South-South.
The divide and rule tactics of the Nigerian state against Biafra seems to have worked out perfectly, for many a people from the non-Igbo parts of Biafra deny the Biafra identity in order to curry political favour from the federal government. Even some Igbos – the likes of Nnia Nwodo and the lost soul in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe – spite Biafra for crumbs from their Fulani master’s table.
However, Dr Philip Effiong Jr has reiterated that the so-called South-South region is Biafra, stressing that those who claim otherwise do so for selfish reasons. Effiong who was reacting to a call from a certain woman for him (Effiong) to teach the so-called South-South their history as some of them say they are not part of Biafra, said “they know their history; they know they are Biafrans. Those that say they are not part of Biafra are saying that because they have their own agenda like politics.”
Speaking further, the aggrieved son of a General said, “There is oil in my land, but what has it done for me and my family? Nothing! Not one cent of it helps the people in those lands. What does anyone get from Nigeria? Nothing … because they have a special hatred for Biafrans.”