Agitation For Sovereign State Of Biafra Is A Vehicle Of Frustration – Chukwueke

Channels Television  
Updated June 1, 2016

Jerry Chukwueke on Sovereign State of BiafraA member of the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress and an indigene of Imo State in south-east Nigeria has described the increasing agitation for the Sovereign State of Biafra as a vehicle of frustration due to economic marginalisation.

Mr Jerry Chukwueke told Channels Television on Wednesday that the youths from the south eastern part of Nigeria and members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) agitating for the Biafran State, were doing so to vent their frustration about the state of the notion.

Members of MASSOB and IPOB had on May 29 held demonstrations in some states in south-south and south-east, to mark the proclamation of Biafra that led to Nigeria’s civil war in the late 60s.

But Mr Chukwueke said there was no ideology behind the business of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

‘Unfavourable Body Language’

“It ought not to be news to us because for decades we have been warned by the United Nations and the World Bank that 35 to 40 million unemployed youths is an existential threat to Nigeria and this is what we are dealing with today.

“It is obvious that because of insurgency, hundreds of thousands of youths from the south-east and south-south, business people, petty traders have moved out of the region, looking for ways to restart their lives and with no opportunities and support. This is largely, in my view, what is clearly a bust of frustration and economic marginalisation perception.

“There is this perception in the south-east and south-south of what many young people perceive as President Buhari’s ‘unfavourable body language’ and they look at the appointments within the presidency and what happened in the National Assembly in terms of leadership and they feel that the south-south and the south-east are not adequately represented,” he told Channels Television.

“About Bread And Butter”

The APC member further stressed that the government should be looking at creating opportunities for the youths, prioritising youth empowerment, employment, economic opportunities.

“This is about bread and butter. The youths feel marginalised.

“You need the Federal government and the state to focus on this issue,” he insisted.

Mr Chukwueke also attributed the situation to what he called communication deficiency, emphasising that the youths were not being engaged.

“We need to find a new language. We need to find new approaches of engagement.

“When people become desperate, it is largely attributed to a loss of hope.

“We must be able to tell Nigerians and the youths what we are doing, where the light is at the end of the tunnel and how we intend to get there, so that they can see employment and food on their table.

“In fact some of them go further to say that they have been categorised as Jonathan’s people and that perception must be cleared,” he stressed.

The south-east Nigeria indigene also pointed out that the situation was not President Buhari’s issue, stressing that for some years now the youths had been abandoned.

He insisted that the youths are major stakeholders in the polity and should be carried along.

Asked what his opinion was about some Nigerians in the Diaspora who had held demonstrations to push for the Sovereign State of Biafra, he insisted that they were sympathisers, pointing out that there were no leaders or people of substantial standing among those pushing for the state of Biafra.