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We want secession, not amnesty –MASSOB

Written By Joseph Y. Musa on Sunday, May 05, 2013 | 5/05/2013 09:00:00 am

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, has denied carrying out criminal activities to pave the way for amnesty.

It said it would welcome a dialogue with the Federal Government where the group would make its plan to secede official.

The group said while the government might not want Nigeria to break up, it was evident that the country might soon collapse.

The Director of Information, MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, told our correspondent in an interview on Friday that with or without granting the region’s request to secede, the current situation in the country could make a break-up possible.

He said, “MASSOB is not asking for any form of amnesty from the Federal Government because we don’t see what we are doing as a criminal act. We are not expecting such from government; we are not even demanding such.

“We don’t need amnesty but there is room for dialogue; we can allow dialogue with the government. So that we can make known what our demands are.”

When asked what MASSOB’s major demand was, Madu said the South-East region would prefer to secede from the country.

“We have only one demand. We want to secede; we want to stay on our own. We know that the Federal Government is not comfortable with our demand but at the end of the day, they must abide by it because the things that are happening now are a signal that the nation is collapsing. It is proving that, certainly, Biafra must be.

“Currently, the way Nigeria is, shows that it is heading for explosion. Nigeria is sleeping on a timebomb that will explode. Every aspect of Nigeria signals collapse,” he said.

However, the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndi’gbo, denied speculations that it had conflicts of ideology and interest with MASSOB. The body noted that it deliberately distanced itself from political issues.

The National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze, Mr. Tony Oganah, described MASSOB as a non-violent organisation that had not killed anybody or thrown bombs.

He said, “If Nigeria is in the mood to pardon Boko Haram members, then it should be able to pardon them (MASSOB). I don’t see any reason why President Goodluck Jonathan, who needs the support of Ndi’gbo, will not.

“Naturally, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If you’re pardoning some arsonists, rapists and kidnappers, then you should pardon MASSOB members who have not committed any crime. They are only interested in self-determination.”
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