From: Madu Ezenoha, Enugu
A coalition of Igbo groups, known as Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) has lambasted elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai over his recent utterances against the Biafra struggle.
The Group also elected the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as its new leader.
ECA held its meeting and election Tuesday in Enugu during which occasion it also elected others, including Rev Fr. John Odey- Publicity Secretary; Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko- Secretary and Dede Uzor A Uzor- Assistant Publicity Secretary. Chief (Mrs.) Maria Okwor remains Matron and Deputy Leader.
ECA Patrons, according to the group, remain Prof Ben Nwabueze, Dr Alex Ekwueme and Archbishop Anthony Obinna.
In a communiqué issued after the election, signed by the Deputy Leader, Chief Mrs. Maria Okwor and the Publicity Secretary, Rev. Fr. John Odeh, the ECA described Yakassai’s recent outburst against the Biafra agitation as misplaced.
The group told Yakassai that “your claimed annoyance over the agitation for secession by the great IPOB is misplaced.
“Alhaji Tanko should kindly provide answers as to why Zamfara State with NPC acclaimed population of over 5 million people should immunize only 74,000 under 5 year children during the anti polio vaccination exercise, while Imo State with NPC population of under 3 million immunized over 300,000 .
“JAMB and WAEC figures year after year also confirm the fraudulent census figures; Zamfara and Sokoto states with a combined NPC alleged population of over 11 million enroll only 40 thousand candidates while Anambra state alone with an NPC population of 3 million produces over 400 thousand candidates. Man’s inhumanity to Man.”
Insisting on restructuring, the ECA said, “the fraudulent and oppressive census figures are some of the reasons the East can no longer accept Nigeria as presently structured.
“The deliberate asphyxiation of our people with a very wicked state and local government creation based on land mass is another reason .
“The refusal to peacefully restructure Nigeria is the reason the demand for secession is growing louder and louder. The demand dear sir will only grow louder until justice is done .
“As for Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu and his Northern delegates to the confab forum, we say your position of opposing the peaceful restructuring of Nigeria excites and fuels the secessionists.”
The Igbo group equally lauded the new Ohanaeze Leadership “for standing on the side of the people,” stressing that this is “a welcome breath of fresh air in comparison with past cowardly Ohanaeze leaderships.”
Meanwhile in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s acceptance speech presented by his representative, the new IPOB coordinator, Mazi George Onyeibehe, Kanu said: “I hope all the affiliate groups in this coalition will soon join hands with us in our peaceful and non violent pursuit of a referendum that will allow the people decide their future.
“I commend the ECA and strongly believe that I will not let you down. Once again, I say thank you for this great honour”.