Simon Ekpa, a former Nigerian athlete who represented the country at the 2003 African Junior Athletics Championships, has vowed to return the medal he won for the country. Ekpa, who has been described as a strong opinion leader in the Biafra struggle, said in a Facebook post on Sunday that he has denounced Nigeria, adding that the leaders have not done much for the country.
His post came on the back of a letter he said he received from the Institute of Management Consultants, Nigeria, nominating him for a fellowship.
“I reject your nomination publicly, this is the second time the IMC-Nigeria is nominating me for whatever reason. I am not interested in your nomination, I am not interested in your award, I am not interested in anything that will move Nigeria forward because Nigeria is not structured nor created to move forward, so anybody trying to move Nigeria forward is already a failure,” Ekpa posted on Facebook, according to Punch.
“Let me give you a brief brake down on these failures: Awolowo, Zik, Ahmedu Bello, Abiola, Obasanjo, Jonathan, and every other person that have held any political position in Nigeria from 1960 to 2021 has all failed because they didn’t realise that Nigeria was never created to move forward.”
He continued: “I am now putting everything I have to the disintegration of Nigeria and restoration of Biafra as that is the only way to move forward, anything outside this, don’t bring my name.
“Finally, I will be returning every award given to me in Nigeria by Nigeria state or organisation within Nigeria acting in the capacity of representing Nigeria, including medal given to me by Nigeria will be returned to the Ministry of Sports Abuja in the nearest future.
“I am Simon Ekpa, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s Disciple on Biafra Restoration.”
In 2014, the Indigenous People Of Biafra (Ipob) was formed by Nnamdi Kanu. The movement seeks a collection of states in south-east Nigeria, primarily made up of Igbo people, to secede and create the sovereign nation of Biafra. The strategy isn’t new. In 1967, Igbo leaders declared a Biafran state, but the separatist uprising was crushed after a devastating civil war that killed up to a million people.
However, the concept of Biafra has never faded, and despite arrests of his members, Kanu’s movement has recently grown in size.
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to crush Ipob. He tweeted last month about security concerns in south-east Nigeria, saying that “those misbehaving today” will be dealt with in “the language they will understand.” After Buhari received a reaction, Twitter deleted the post for breaching its rules, resulting in the suspension of the microblogging service in Nigeria.