Some South South leaders who participated in a virtual conference titled: “Addressing The Dot In Circle In President Buhari’s Interview, A Return To 1966?” have said nobody from the region discussed anything about the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Among the participants who made the denial yesterday were Asari Dokubo, Annkio Briggs, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, Mr. Tony Nnadi, Lt. Col. Tony Nyiam, Rear Admiral Yanga (rtd).
They berated the President for his “dot in the circle” statement and his assertion that some South-South leaders told him they won’t allow Ndigbo access to the sea in case they have their separate country.
Buhari during the Arise TV interview last Thursday said he was assured by “the elderly people” and “the youths” from the South-South part of the country that the region has no intention of seceding.
Buhari also said IPOB will not have “access to anywhere” even if they eventually secede from the country.
However, in an interactive session organised by Njenje Media in Conjunction with Elombah TV and anchored in United Kingdom (UK), the South-South leaders at the conference berated President Muhammadu for describing the Igbo race of Eastern Nigeria as “a dot in the circle”.
Opening the stage for discussion on the matter, Annkio Briggs said the statement in the interview had shown the mindset of President Buhari.
The Ijaw woman said it doesn’t matter if the Igbo or Ijaw or the Itsekiri are only 10 or 100,000 people, you don’t refer to them as a dot in the circle, “so it shows very clearly the mindset of the person of President Buhari.”
In his contribution, the former managing director of DAAR Communications Plc, Dr Don Pedro Obaseki, backed Brigg’s stance that the South-South and the South-East are united in the struggle for survival against the existential threat of the Buhari -led administration.
Nyiam stated that Buhari’s statement is a threat unbecoming of a president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of all Nigerians. He said it is an open revelation of an unchanging published mindset that was responsible for the 1966 killings of Ndigbo in particular, and the people of Eastern Nigeria in general.
The secretary to the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), Tony Nnadi, claimed that the president was trying to create suspicion in the minds of the leaders of both regions.