Over the weekend, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, publicly stated that there will be no support for the current secession bid of pro-Biafra groups. He plainly stated that there was no future to the fight to be separated from Nigeria.
During the initial Biafra struggle in the years past, France supported the fight for Biafra to become an independent nation.
According to the ambassador, the case will no longer be so with them as they have chosen to work for the progress of Nigeria as a whole.
“We are working with Nigeria and we are supporting it as the only country. This is absolutely clear and I don’t think there is any kind of future for Biafra. They are part of Nigeria and Nigeria has to remain as the only country,”
“Apart from encouraging neighboring African countries to cooperate with Nigeria, we have also developed a strong bilateral relationship with the Nigerian Armed forces.”
Gauer particularly stresses their partnership with Nigeria in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
During Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the ambassador says the French government helped to “organize a regional meeting with neighboring Francophone countries, Chad Cameroon and Republic of Benin, in Paris.
The 2014 meeting yielded the creation of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MJTF which played a commendable role in fighting Boko Haram terrorists.
Vanguard also records that in May 2015, the Defence Ministers of Nigeria and France signed a first-ever cooperation agreement between the two armed forces.
Summing up his point, the ambassador makes it categorically clear that France sees no future in Biafra and as such have no intention to support their current secession bid like it was in the past.
Adding to Denys Gauer’s comments, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, also says the Biafran struggle is nothing but a futile mission and accused pro-Biafran protesters of fueling the disintegration of Nigeria.
“Those individuals and groups that are bent on destabilizing our country I think they have to wait till may be the next three or four millennium for them to do that. That is, may be the next generation of officers and men will allow them at all,”
Disregarding the warning of Denys Gauer and Gen Burutai, the 2 prominent pro-Biafran groups- IPOB and MASSOB have insisted on continous agitation for independence till their dream comes true.
On Saturday, Members of the Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) conducted a rally to mark the 17th anniversary of the movement, in Awka, Anambra State, south-east region of Nigeria.
The group led by Uchenna Madu told the media that the secession bid “cannot be stopped by any man created by God.”
“We in MASSOB do not believe what he said because that does not represent the position of France. France is a friend of Biafra and even during the Nigeria/Biafra war, they assisted us so much.”
“In this current agitation for Biafra, France has sympathy for us. We advise our people to disregard what he said. We think that the Nigerian media misinterpreted what the French envoy said.”