Mujahid Asari Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Front, says the name ‘Biafra’ originated from Ijaw land.
Dokubo said that it was an Ijaw man, who suggested the name at a meeting convened by the deceased leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu.
According to the activist/former militant leader, the name was first heard during the meeting to decide on the way forward for the Eastern region after the 1966/1967 pogrom.
Asari Dokubo said the ties between Igbo and Ijaw ethnic groups are unbreakable, while noting that it was another Ijaw man, Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, who first played the Biafran national anthem during the proclamation of independence on May 30, 1967.
In a statement released on Wednesday, he stated that the late Niger Delta activist, Maj. Isaac Adaka Boro affirmed that Ijaw is Biafra in chapter six of his autobiography- Twelve Day Revolution.
He said: “Ignorance can be a terrible disease but it is curable if the sufferer is ready to humble himself to learn and accept the cure for his sickness. Biafra is a Kalabari Ijaw phrase Bia fulo meaning not properly cooked. The Kalabari of Kula named the estuary of Santa Barbara Bia fulo because of the turbulence of the sea at the estuary.”
“The Portuguese like they did to many other names, words and phrases which they could not pronounce properly named the area Biafra. Later the coastline from the estuary of River Nun to the coast of Gabon was named the Bight of Biafra.”
“The doyen of our struggle Isaac Adaka Boro clearly affirmed that Ijaw is Biafra in chapter six, page 57 of his autobiography ‘Twelve Day Revolution’.”
“Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, before the declaration of secession, convoked an Eastern Nigerian consultative Assembly to decide on the direction and way forward for the Eastern Region after the 1966/1967 pogrom against Easterners in the north. The assembly debated on many names put forward by delegates and chose Biafra which was put forward by Frank Opigo an Ijaw.”