A Benin socio-cultural group, Great Benin Descendants, GBD, worldwide, yesterday, cautioned the leadership and members of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), to stop including Benin kingdom as part of its enclave saying the Benin kingdom that has existed for more than 5,000 years could not be part of Biafra.
Addressing newsmen in Benin City, Coordinator-General of GBD, Mr. Imasuen Izoduwa also cautioned the Ijaw in Benin kingdom, whom he said were becoming antagonistic by their utterances and actions against the Benin kingdom.
He said GDB frowned on a statement credited to the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, that South-South geopolitical zone is part of Biafra, describing the statement as an aberration to the pre-colonial and post-colonial history of Nigeria.
He said: “History easily remembers that the term Biafra is a borrowed word from the Portuguese colony in present-day Cameroon and a supposed secessionist nation borrowed a name that is foreign to them.
Kanu should be taught how the Benin people and their descendants controlled the South-South, part of South East and South West. He should be taught that it took the British to cut off our power and give it to some selected few which the Igbo are the biggest beneficiary.
Otherwise, people like Nnamdi Kanu wouldn’t have the effrontery to place older ethnic groups who have been in these places for more than 5,000 years under the wings of a group that is purportedly claiming to have come from Israel about 2,000 years ago. Hence we wish to warn IPOB and their supposed plan that no inch of South-South’s vast and rich land is theirs.”
Izoduwa said his group has identified over 36 ethnic nationalities from the South-South and South East that have traced their roots to Benin and wondered where Kanu is getting his claims from.
On the recent verbal altercation between the Benin and Ijaw over ownership of lands in the kingdom, the GBD said: “However, we might have abandoned our way of aggression after the unfortunate episode of 1897 but we have not lost it.
Maybe a little refreshing of the minds of these modern Ijaw youths in our lands should be appropriately done by their elders about who the Benin people were.”