- The Efik Leadership Foundation (ELF) accused IPOB of promoting a false propaganda claiming that the Efik homeland of Cross River is part of Biafra
- The group was particularly offended by an attempt to impersonate the Obong of Calabar by a certain unknown fellow at an IPOB meeting chaired by Nnamdi Kanu
- ELF maintained that they would fight for the unity of Nigeria and accused Kanu of labeling Efiks as co-travelers on his Biafra journey without consulting them and without their consent
The Efik Leadership Foundation (ELF), an Efik apex group, has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to desist from further inclusion of the Efik people in their 'shenanigan', reports state.
According to the ELF board of trustees, led by the chairman Richard Duke, the Efik people are insulted by their inclusion into the map of Biafra and they can champion their own course if the need arises.
NAIJ.com notes that in a statement signed by hundreds of members of the group, they stated that the Efik people are not a part of Biafra and have never been.
The statement read in part: "Our decision to finally publicly state our position is borne out of the growing false propagation especially on social media of maps showing various versions of the proposed territories of the new country being agitated for wherein such maps include our beloved Cross River State".
The group was also particularly offended by what they described as an attempt to impersonate their Obong in a recent IPOB gathering.
They stated: "The ELF has watched patiently in the past months, the activities of certain individuals and groups agitating for the secession of certain States from Nigeria and the creation of Biafra nation.
“More recently, we were presented with a video of one Nnamdi Kanu, the acclaimed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at a gathering of some sort, where he thanked an unknown fellow for attending the meeting on behalf of the Obong of Calabar.
“This unknown man who dressed in an attire mimicking the Efik attire, had earlier claimed to be representing the Obong of Calabar.
"Historically, and as can be Googled for confirmation, the Obong of Calabar ‘is one of the eight rulers recognised by the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Natural Rulers and Treaty Kings whose Kingdoms existed hundreds of years before the amalgamation, and who interacted with, and signed Treaties and Agreements with Sovereign Nations in Africa and Europe’.
“We are therefore pleased to note that the Palace through the chairman of the Etuboms Traditional Council (ETC) has since unequivocally disowned and distanced the Palace from the impersonator."
The group continued: "Although we acknowledge the imperfection of the present Nigeria union, we the Efik people are peace loving people hence the acronym for CALABAR: Come And Live And Be At Rest.
“We primarily seek, within a workable and generally beneficial framework, a better, effective and equitable union of all constituent parts and people of Nigeria, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, gender, age, status and other circumstances of life.
“History has shown that we have never been a part of Biafra and we reiterate that we are still not a part of this new proposed Biafra, either.
“We were never consulted before or after the said Nnamdi Kanu and his co- adventurers began their new agitation for the Biafra Nation thus any attempt to annex or conscript us surreptitiously or use our people, land and territory as basis for bargaining is unequivocally resisted by the Efik People.
“While the Biafra agitators and indeed all Nigerians are entitled, within the law, to speak up against injustices, marginalization by the Nigerian State, and need for referendum and restructuring, the Efik people are also very capable of tabling their own grievances, which indeed exist, to the relevant authorities without necessarily using Biafra as a crutch.
“We are deeply pained and feel insulted by the actions of IPOB, more so when they attempt to portray the Efik people as co-travelers in a venture where the two parties have not met to discuss any points of mutual benefit or interest.
“The office of the Obong of Calabar is a highly revered office and the incumbent would never belittle himself by sending such a representative to any gathering.
“We make bold to say that in this particular instance, the so called representative was fraudulent and the Efik people vehemently alienate themselves from that gathering.
“The Etuboms and any other person whom the Obong may occasionally ask to represent him are usually carefully selected and well-spoken men and women of substance and definitely not the calibre of the imposter shown in that video".
The group pledged to work for the unity of Nigeria and stated: "We demand that the Biafran agitators cease and desist from further including the Efik people in their Biafran shenanigans or misleading the world that the Efik people are part of the movement.
“For now, we the Efik people remain part of Nigeria and are more inclined to making the country a better place for every Nigerian."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has lashed out at the Movement for the Actualisation of a Sovereign State Of Biafra (MASSOB) for including the Niger Delta region in its Biafra map.
MASSOB and other pro-Biafra group have been agitating for an independent Biafra state and have insisted that the Niger Delta region was part of its territory.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video of Nnamdi Kanu speaking about Biafra agitation: