BY HEMBADOON ORSAR, Makurdi
Former minister of State for Education, Professor Jerry Agada has warned the Indigenous People of biafra and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), to stop laying claims to parts of Idoma nation in Benue State as their territory.
Prof. Agada,who gave the warning in an interview with LEADERSHIP in Makurdi ,said Idoma people in particular and Benue State as a whole , has nothing in common with biafra and their agitations.
He recalled that before the civil war, there was nothing like Biafra and even during the war, no part of Benue or Idoma land was captured by Igbo soldiers whereby they can today lay claim to.
“When the Nigerian soldiers came to Idoma land in 1967, they were stationed at Saint Joseph Primary school Orokam, my home town in Ogbadibo LGA, which is almost close to the boundary between the then northern region and Eastern region. So the Nigeria troops started pushing up the Igbos in Obolafor and Nnsuka in the eastern region. There was no where captured by eastern troop in Benue in the northern region, no place ceded to Igbos, so why should IPOB and MASSOB bring out a map given to them by their then leaders to mislead people.’’
“Those of us who stayed in Orokam where the war started, we did not feel impact of Igbo soldiers moving to Idoma areas or heard that Igbo troops captured any part of Idoma communities where IPOB is today laying claim to be part of their territory.
“Until the war ended in 1970, there was no claim of Igbo people to have captured any town in Kingdom, not to even say they killed any Idoma person. The only thing we hear is the B26 plane that came to drop bomb in Otukpo which was later captured and destroyed by the Nigerian soldiers. So IPOB should keep Benue and Idoma region out of their agenda, we do not belong to them in anyway’’,he said.
Prof. Agada ,who is the current Executive Chairman, Benue State Civil Service Commission, further maintained that Idoma people have no connection in anyway with Biafra especially the Orokam areas which share border with the eastern region where they are laying claims in their map.
He advised the agitators to leave Idoma people and most especially people of zone C out of their agitation, saying Idoma nation can never be part of Biafra, adding that in as much as the Igbos have their fundamental human right to agitate, they should be reasonable so as not to cause people that do not have a link with their ideology or believe in their quest for power.
He called on Benue people particularly the Idomas to remain calm , since they know where they belong and should never be shaken in their originality.