A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state, Elder Enefiok Ekefre has alleged that the Igbo abandoned Late General Philip Effiong who he said died a Biafran rebel.
Ekefre made the comment in an interview with Vanguard, even as he chided the Igbo for abandoning the Late Effiong.
He lamented that Effiong, the vice president of the defunct Republic of Biafra who died in 2003, was not given the amnesty accorded to Late Ojukwu by the federal government.
His words: “The Igbo are expecting support forgetting that they all looked the other way and allowed General Effiong who made the historic declaration that ended the bloody civil war to live and die a Biafra rebel while Ojukwu died a Nigerian Army General.
“General Philip Effiong, an Ibiono Ibom man, was the vice president to Ojukwu. Mr. M. U. Akpan, the Secretary to the Government of Biafra (SGB) was also from Ibiono. General Effiong signed the instrument of surrender but when the Igbo were talking of payment of gratuity and pension, they only presented General Ojukwu and refused to mention General Effiong.
“He lived and died a Biafran military officer but Ojukwu’s rank was restored with salaries and gratuity paid from 1966. Today, the Igbo are complaining of marginalization and oppression, forgetting that justice and injustice should not be selective.”
Ekefre appealed to the federal government to make adequate compensation for the family of the late General Effiong in the spirit of true reconciliation and justice.
He said the agitation by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) was ill-timed, stressing that “the Igbo had President Goodluck Jonathan from South-south, Senate President from South-east, Secretary to the Government of the Federation government, minister of finance and General Azubike Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff, and they could not ask for their republic then.”
He also lamented that the South-south, South-east and South-west regions are not united.
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