Recall that the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, through its National Publicity Secretary, Sara Igbe, had said that the presidency should be zoned to the South-south while the South-east continues to agitate for Biafra.
The Chief Press Secretary of BNYL, Comrade Richard Odung, in a statement to NAN on Monday, lambasted the PANDEF for making such claims that the South-east prefers Biafra while the South-south wants 2023 Presidency.
The statement added, “It is laughable for a reasonable elder to reason too low, when has the Biafra that Akwa Ibom fought for, the Biafra that Cross River fought for, or the Biafra that many Rivers people fought for become a South-east project?
“Does he know that it was the Ibibio that were in full control of the Eastern Government and then the Biafran Republic, apart from Ojukwu, the rest top figures before and during the war were South South people.
“We [South South] were in charge of Radio Biafra, we were in charge of the Biafra Military as Chief of General Staff, the Eastern and Biafra Government Secretary was an Ibibio man, others were Cross Riverians.
“98% of our war veterans are former Biafran Soldiers.”
Odung claimed that PANDEF does not have the mandate of the entire tribes in the South-South to decide on what the people wants.
“[BNYL] sees PANDEF as Edwin Clerk’s creation. It does not have our mandate.
“How many Cross Riverians are in the forum? How many Ibibio, apart from Obong Attah, whom he lobbied to join him to demand for oil well in Abuja?
“How many Igbo speaking people of Rivers and Delta State are in PANDEF?
“How many Ogoni and Andoni are there?
“To BNYL, we see an Ijaw interest group speaking for a multiethnic region, and if that is so, the Ibibio is the most affected during the war and we deserve that Presidency, because we suffered just as the Igbos suffered.
“We lost everything. We were also giving 20 pounds along with the Igbo to start life afresh, we do not want anybody who comes to pretend to speak for us in other to attract sympathy and bring his tribe man as Presidential candidate,” he said.