The French government, a previous supporter of Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War, has said that it is supporting Nigeria “as the only country”.
French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer in an interview with The Guardian said he does not think “there is any kind of future for Biafra”.
“We are working with Nigeria and we are supporting it as the only country. This is absolutely clear and I don’t think there is any kind of future for Biafra. They are part of Nigeria and Nigeria has to remain as the only country,” he said.
Gauer spoke about about how his country is assisting Nigeria and countries in the Lake Chad region in the fight against Boko Haram.
“Apart from encouraging neighbouring African countries to cooperate with Nigeria we have also developed a strong bilateral relationship with the Nigerian Armed forces. In May 2015, the Defence Ministers of Nigeria and France signed a cooperation agreement between the two armed forces, which we did not have before.
Since September last year, we have two French military officers who are liaison officers with the Nigerian Armed Forces to work on daily basis with them in furtherance of the cooperation. We are organising training activities for the Nigerian Armed Forces both in France, Senegal and here in Nigeria.
I can confirm to you that we are now very close allies to the Nigerian Armed Forces in the fight against Boko Haram,” he said.
On selling of military equipment, Gauer said: “We have no restrictions on that, we can sell any kind of equipment to the Nigerian government without any restrictions.”
Speaking on trade and Investment, Gauer said: “We still have more French companies interested to come to Nigeria.”
Reacting to the development, Uchenna Madu, the Leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), said that the struggle for Biafra “is real and cannot be stopped by any man created by God”.
“We in MASSOB do not believe what he said because that does not represent the position of France. France is a friend of Biafra and even during the Nigeria/Biafra war, they assisted us so much. In this current agitation for Biafra, France has sympathy for us. We advise our people to disregard what he said. We think that the Nigeria media misinterpreted what the French envoy said,” Madu added.