Ibibio Peoples Union, a sociopolitical/sociocultural organization of Ibibio people worldwide has risen against the inclusion of Ibibio in the Biafran map by the Biafra agitators.
In a communiqué issued in the United States of America, and signed by Messrs Edet Udófia and Aniekan Udoh, president and secretary respectively, the Union warned that the Ibibio people can never be part of Biafra. The communiqué reads, thus: “Following the purported inclusion of Ibibio as part of proposed Biafra, Ibibio People’s Union (IPU), an organization that protects the interests and rights of the Ibibio in Nigeria and worldwide is compelled to make the following observations and decisions…
“The Ibibio have always upheld and believed in the sanctity of Nigeria as one and indivisible despite the fact that Nigeria as a project is a work in progress. We believe that the federal government must be a uniting force in bringing the various groups together and ensuring peace, harmony, and prosperity for all. It is also the role of the federal government to protect the lives and property of all and to ensure that every Nigerian can live freely without fear or intimidation in any part of the country.
“Ibibio people were and still are well versed with self-governance and do not need others to think or speak for us. Ibibio people were the ones to demonstrate to Nigeria the value of higher education by taxing themselves to award scholarships to their children for study abroad when others were yet to appreciate the value of secondary school education.
“Ibibio is well aware of a key reason why the first Biafra project failed and will not agree to be taken for a ride again. We posit that irrational exuberance led to the declaration of first Biafra BEFORE ALL the ethnic groups in Eastern Nigeria were properly consulted for their input. The same mistake is being repeated demonstrating that no lessons were learned from the first fiasco.
“IPU have looked around the world and have realized the need for at least one strong country for black people. Since there is strength in size, the Union believes in a united well-governed Nigeria. Nigeria has the people and resources; it only needs good and responsible leaders and the will to lead that country. Therefore, we encourage all Nigerians to join hands to work to improve the country.
“The Ibibio through their illustrious sons and daughters have contributed and will continue to contribute to perfecting the union and Nigeria project. It is against the foregoing background that IPU wishes to make the following declarations: 1. The Union categorically and very strongly repudiates the effrontery of those who would draw a map of their dream Biafra and include Ibibio land without prior consultation 2. IPU is not against any ethnic nationality within Nigeria deciding its destiny 3. The Ibibio is not, has never been, will never be part of Biafra. While we sympathize with the plight of the Igbos living in the northern part of Nigeria and strongly condemn any act of intimidation, violence against any ethnic group, we wish to declare that the Ibibio are part of Akwa Ibom and Nigeria 4. We declare that should Nigeria disintegrate, Ibibio people, are capable of forming their own country by themselves. There are many countries in the world today whose population is less than the current population of Ibibio 5. We strongly encourage the federal government to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians in northern Nigeria 6. The Union calls on all Nigerians to remain calm, avoid incendiary language and posturing that are inimical to peace and unity 7. Finally, the Union calls on the Nigerian forces of law and order to remain vigilant and proactive.