The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), on Monday, dissociated itself from pro-Biafra groups and agitation.
The group also asked pro-Biafra groups Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to stop including the Ijaw people and territories in the proposed map of Biafra.
This is because they, the Ijaw, have never consented to being a part of Biafra nor do they intend letting any agitator decide on their identity for them, Sahara Reporters report.
In a statement issued by the group’s spokesperson, Daniel Dasimaka, the group reiterated its stance that the Ijaw have at no time declared for Biafra nor do they see themselves as Biafrans.
The IYC opined that the old Eastern region of Nigeria was a political contraption that was decidedly unfavourable for the Ijaw.
He, however, clarified that the group is not against the agitation for self-determination or secession but would rather not be dragged into their machinations.
“Ijaws are a distinct ethnic nation that has existed before the 1914 amalgamation and has its own dreams, wishes, and aspirations that should not be submerged as footnotes in any other peoples’ struggles.
“We Ijaw people are not Biafrans. Therefore, if or when an Ijaw person or group feel a sense of allegiance to Biafra and speaks in its favour.
“Let it be known that such statements are the personal opinions of such persons, which do not reflect the thoughts, views, and wishes of the entire Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta people.
“We express our solidarity with all peoples’ organisations and ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and elsewhere who are struggling for self-determination and justice,” the IYC added.