David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, says the state “can never” be part of the proposed nation of Biafra.
The governor spoke on Thursday at an event organised for him in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi capital.
Umahi said the state will not secede from the country and join Biafra, adding that “we are better in a fair and equitable Nigeria”.
“Let nobody be afraid of the presidency of an Igbo man. The Igbo man is a builder and not a destroyer. There is no Igbo man that will be the president of this country and would like to divide or destroy it because we have investments everywhere,” he said.
“First and foremost, I have been saying it. If anybody tells you about Biafra, Ebonyi state will never be part of Biafra. We are not Biafra.
“We have been so oppressed and now we are finding our feet and you want us to go back. We will not. We will not.
“We are better in a fair and equitable Nigeria. And we are not going anywhere. We are not going anywhere. We won’t. We will continue to appeal and dialogue to be treated fairly and equitably like other regions of Nigeria.
“Some enemies of the south-east say if we become president we will divide the country. How will we divide the country? We have investments everywhere.”
In recent years, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has stepped up its campaign for the secession of Nigeria’s south-east.
The separatist group has, however, been proscribed as a terrorist organisation, while Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) on felony charges.