A former envoy to Malaysia and elder statesman, Amb. Yerima Abdullahi, has urged proponents of Biafra to seek for plebiscite as away out.
Abdullahi, who is also a close associate of the president, said it was better than eroding the peace and progress of the country, adding that fighting a second phase of civil war is unthinkable.
He made this disclosure in an interview with our correspondent in Gombe, stressing that leaders should embrace alternative means of resolving the debacle.
According to him, “It is not surprising if wars are fought but when wars are fought, eventually someone will lose. However, you become more civilized based on the experiences of the war, so the need to come together and eventually sort out yourselves. Accept that you were defeated in this war, but you will not fold your arms by accepting the defeat.
“As an intelligent human being, God has given us high degree of intelligence, we are supposed to use it. For someone to say, you want to leave a country for instance in 2022 on issues debated in 1960’s. It is out of place and unfortunate this is what a lot of us do by bringing issues that transpired years back only to make them relevant, otherwise, what is the use of breaking a country now with Kanu, bringing up the issue of Biafra.
“This was an issue that we fought during the civil war and many of us died, some survived. Some of our leaders are still very intelligent and observant people, most of them claimed we can’t afford to fight again, which I believe in, but if there are people who still feels strongly that they want their own country by whatever name they call it. Whether they call it Biafra, the most sensible thing to do is to give them an opportunity to vote. They should hold a plebiscite, if they want for goodness sake let them go.”
Abdullahi lamented the negative impact on the average Igbo business man scattered across different part of the country, saying that they should weigh the implications.
“If Kanu and his group wants to get out of Nigeria, well for goodness sake let carve it out but they know the implications of being out of Nigeria. The leaders that are leading them should know the implications. They should know that the Igbo man who is very prosperous in Gaboro in the Eastern part of Borno state, in Ilela, Kawoje in Kebbi state.
“There are Igbos all over the country and they are not among the poor ones. So for goodness sake give them the opportunity. Let them go atleast we will experience some peace, what we don’t like is dwindling or eroding the peaceful environment. Unfortunately, they have not asked for plebiscite but insist on being given, I don’t know how you will split a country on a platter of gold. However, it is better to allow them go than to say we fight another civil war,” he added.