Ebenezer Babatope, a former minister of transport, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government to negotiate with pro-Biafra agitators in the interest of peace in the country.
According to Today.ng Babatope, who is also a member of the Board of the Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, described himself as a loyal and staunch supporter of Biafra.
The ex-minister advised the demonstrators to be law abiding and avoid violence while making their demands.
“I am in total support of Biafra. I just wrote that in my column in Tribune Newspaper. I have always said that the federal government should talk to them because, not only that they are part and parcel of Nigeria, but they are citizens of this country and subjects of the federal government”.
“The Biafra agitators on their part must stop all the violence if they desire any serious talk with the federal government. They can’t achieve anything by being ruthless and violent. Once they are law abiding, I believe the federal government should dialogue with them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the ex-president of Nigeria, has opposing opinion about the agitation for Biafran independence.
Speaking during a public discussion on the Biafra issue in Abuja, Obasanjo said: “Biafra as a secession issue is dead, and nobody should follow that way.”
Undoubtedly, his statement caused discontent and anger among members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
In a swift reaction, the group recalled that the former president had tried to destroy the Biafra group in the past, but the struggle for the actualization of Biafra survived, despite persecution masterminded by him.
Moreover, Comrade Samuel Edeson, the group’s director of information, warned that MASSOB would drag Obasanjo to the International Criminal Court for the killings of over 1000 members in March 2003 in Imo state.