Eyinnaya Abaribe, Nigeria’s Senate Minority Leader, has claimed that there are more than thirty separatist groups in the country’s South East, besides the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
Speaking with Channels Television, the Senator accused the APC-led government of marginalizing the South East. He also said that while the government may succeed in quelling the separatist uprisings in the region, the ideology spurring them would not be extinguished until its root cause was addressed.
“We are having separatist agitations everywhere in the country because some people are unable to manage our diversity,” he said, referring to the Federal government.
In response to a question about whether he supported IPOB, he said, “I am a supporter of the cries of our people against injustice. I stand with my people.”
The Background to the Story: IPOB, a secessionist group, is calling for the creation of an independent state out of Nigeria’s South East. Its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, was arrested in Kenya in June and extradited to Nigeria, where he is currently under trial. Concern has also grown over the rising insecurity in the South East, with sporadic attacks on security personnel and civilians carried out by “unknown gunmen,” believed by some to be members of IPOB.