A Nigerian ethnic rights group says it wants independence for the eastern region.
The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, says the area, which produces by far most of the nation’s wealth, does not receive enough attention from the government.
The leader of MASSOB, Ralph Uwazuruike, recently visited the United States to lobby administration officials for support. He told English to Africa reporter Chinedu Offor the campaign for autonomy will not be violent.
He says the predominantly Ibo-speaking region will not go to war as it did in the 1970’s, leading to the death of millions of people. The Nigerian government says it opposes any plan to break up the country, and President Olusegun Obasanjo says he is committed to the even development of all regions.