A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State, Elder Enefiok Ekefre has alleged that the Igbos abandoned former Biafra Vice President, General Philip Effiong who eventually died a rebel.
Speaking with Vanguard in Uyo, Ekefre blamed the Igbos for abandoning Gen. Effiong, who was second in command to the late Odumegwu Ojukwu of the defunct Republic of Biafra.
Effiong died in 2003 without Federal Government’s recognition as was accorded Ojukwu.
He regretted that “the Igbos are expecting support forgetting that they all looked the other way and allowed Gen. Effiong who made the historic declaration that ended the bloody civil war to live and die a Biafra rebel while Ojukwu died a Nigerian Army General.
“Gen. Philip Effiong, an Ibiono Ibom man, was the Vice President to Ojukwu. Mr. M. U. Akpan, the Secretary to the Government of Biafra (SGB) was also from Ibiono.
“Gen. Effiong signed the instrument of surrender but when the Igbo were talking of payment of gratuity and pension, they only presented Gen. Ojukwu and refused to mention Gen. Effiong.
“He lived and died a Biafran military officer but Ojukwu’s rank was restored with salaries and gratuity paid from 1966. Today, the Igbo are complaining of marginalization and oppression, forgetting that justice and injustice should not be selective.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to make adequate compensation for the family of the late Gen. Effiong, noting that in the spirit of true reconciliation and justice, what was done to Ojukwu should be done to Gen. Effiong.