Lauretta Onochie, Senior Special Assistant on Social Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said there will never be the Republic of Biafra again.
She stated this on Monday following the reported attack on the Imo State Police Command headquarters and the Owerri Correctional Prison, which led to the release of over 1,800 inmates and the destruction of scores of vehicles and state assets.
The former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had accused operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) of being the masterminds behind the attacks.
After the incident, Onochie tweeted a video showing the then Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, receiving the then Biafran Vice President, Major General Philip Effiong, who facilitated the surrender of the Biafran State to Nigeria in 1970.
Effiong had assumed leadership of the secessionist state after the Biafran leader, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, fled to Cote D’Ivoire in the heat of the civil war.
She captioned the video, “Relief on the faces of Philip Effiong 2nd in command to Ojukwu & his men as they surrender says #NeverAgainBiafra
“The joy on d face of d then Head of state Yakubu Gowon says, #OneNigeria.
“The very day nails were put in the coffin of #Biafra There’ll never be Biafra again, Never!”
In May 1967, dissatisfaction over the Nigerian State and quest for sovereignty led Ojukwu to declare the exit of the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria. The Biafran territory essentially comprised the South-East region of Nigeria.
The declaration led to a civil war that lasted two and half years as the Nigerian State under Gowon battled to unify the soul of the country using state powers and military might.
The war ended in January 1970 with the South-East region back in Nigeria but the civil war left many soldiers and civilians dead.
However, decades later, secessionist agitations resurfaced in the South-East. The agitation, this time, is being championed by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Buhari regime had in September 2017 outlawed IPOB and declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.
Before then, Kanu was arrested and jailed but was later released from the Kuje Prison in Abuja after meeting bail conditions. The IPOB leader later fled the country and has been operating from overseas.
Recently, IPOB formed the Eastern Security Network but the security outfit has no backing of the governors of the South-East. It has, therefore, been at loggerheads with state-authorised security agencies like the police and the army.