A legal practitioner, Emeka Ojukwu Jr., the son of the deceased leader of Biafra movement, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, has showcased his support for the agitations led by Nnamdi Kanu and some other groups.
Speaking with journalists as regards the meeting President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier said he had with Late Ojukwu, in his national broadcast, the son of the latter confirmed that they in deed had meeting before his father passed on although he does not have the details of it as he was not there and the deceased never disclosed the matter to him.
Ojukwu Jr. however expressed his support for the agitations of Indigenous People of Biafrans and Movement for the Association of the Sovereign State of Biafra but detest the methodology employed in the demonstration.
“The agitation of IPOB and MASSOB is a valid agitation. The only thing I hold against them is their methodology. But for somebody to fight for self-determination I do not see anything wrong in that. It is like a marriage; there are times the situation will be rosy and pleasant, there are times there will be some upheavals. So, we must give room for those things. No one should say those boys shouldn’t talk. They are allowed to talk. But what I am against or what I frown on is their taking over the road because when it comes to roads, there is what we call “access.” If a Yoruba man wants to go to Port Harcourt (Rivers State) or Aba (Abia State), you should not try to block the road, saying you want to vent your spleen because of some certain grievances. You’re obstructing him and if you succeed in doing that, you’re proving that there is no government and there is insecurity.
If there is a need to demonstrate or do whatever, then they should go to a stadium, book the venue, go to the police to get a public permit to hold a demonstration and you can all stay in the stadium, have (a protest by) candlelight and get the media to cover the protest – that’s enough of a message to pass across to the world. It is better than recruiting a group of young children from the universities, indoctrinating them and pushing them to get on the roads to do whatever they think they like; acting that way doesn’t help anybody. Their agitation must be devoid of violence. Any agitation must be devoid of hate speech. The reality is that nobody has a monopoly of hate speech. Everybody should be civil in relating with their fellow men. We must eschew hate speech to avoid bad consequences.”
He stated that the existence of Nigeria as one nation is a marriage of negotiations and on that basis, disagreed with the words of the President, who had said “the unity of Nigeria is settled and not negotiable”.
“I don’t think the tone of finality in the President’s speech is right. I have always said Nigeria is a product – a child – of negotiations. It is a child of negotiations in that when they started the agitation for the country’s independence — Zik (Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe) from the Igbo side, Chief Anthony Enahoro from South-West, and (Ahmadu Bello) the Sardauna from the North — they were all going to London. They had problems but they patched their differences and, ultimately, without firing a gunshot, the British government gave independence to Nigeria. For somebody to wake up and say ‘there are no negotiations’ is not in line with the fact that an agreement is susceptible to review and renegotiations. Since it is not really possible to see the future or what will happen in 50 years, agreements are subject to review and negotiations. An agreement over time requires reviewing or renegotiations. So, if we are all pleased with it, there will be no pocket of agitations or discontent. But the pocket of discontent and agitation is a throwback showing that we are having problems with implementation (of the agreement to remain as a country), thus calling for renegotiation. In that regard, it is important that everybody should be carried along.
What I don’t like is a situation whereby the government sponsors people. As of the time they were convoking the last national conference, it was my view that the Federal Government should not pay the delegates. I suggested that each ethnic nationality should choose and sponsor a delegate to the confab; you submit your interest under a bigger umbrella; once all views are gathered, then we will harmonise them and look for the best way to implement them. The reason why we are having problems is that people believe that the constitution we are using was at no time agreed on. They feel that it was the military that gave us what we have now”, the lawyer opined.
He finally gave comments on the current leader of Biafrans, Nnamdi and noted that his father would in deed be proud of his concerns and interest for his people.
“My father would be proud of Nnamdi Kanu He was not a jealous person – he was always very free. If you remember exactly what he said: ‘I hold the torch, but my problem is that I am looking around for a young man to pass on the torch.’ So, if Nnamdi Kanu shows that he is the person that will bear the torch, I don’t have any problem with that. But my problem with him is (that) the language being used (by him) is not refined – the language is heating up the polity. I pray that the meeting the South-East senators had with him will ensure that caution is exercised in the language used. I am a party to that. In fact, that (language used) was the dividing line between the two of us – it started when I said ‘don’t insult people’ and all that but he stuck to that. I didn’t want that to happen because I have a name to protect.
I think Nigerians should love one another and agitate within the confines of the law. I should also add that we know the history of Nigeria; when did we start to feel bad about one another? If we come to the conclusion that things were going on well until 1960 or 1963, then, why can’t we go back to that point and start from there?”, Emeka Ojukwu Jr. ended.