The civil war lasted for over 30 months and claimed over three million lives on both sides.
A statement on Saturday by the group, through its National President, Chekwas Okorie, described Soyinka’s comment as an “assault and shocking”.
It said though Soyinka’s statement, which was broadcast on Reuters and also published in most Nigerian newspapers, was advisory on the need to preserve the unity of Nigeria, but he stressed that it was insulting to sensibilities of the Igbo nation.
Okorie, who also described the statement as “unguarded, insensitive, reckless, irresponsible and reprehensible “, however stated that someone like Soyinka, who played a historical role in that war up to the level of being suspected by the federal military government at the time, of collaborating with the then Biafra leader, late General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, for the injustices and massacre of the Igbo, should not be the one to make such statements.
Soyinka, in the controversial interview with Reuters, said, “The bloodshed is now worse than during the 1967-1970 Biafra war, when a secessionist attempt by the Eastern Igbo people nearly tore Nigeria up into ethnic regions.
“We have never been confronted with butchery on this scale, even during the civil war. There were atrocities (during Biafra), but we never had such a near predictable level of carnage and this is what is horrifying.”
The Igboezue leader also said that to correct part of the deliberate alleged “misrepresentation” as he claimed contained in Soyinka’s statement, the group “wish to state that the mandate given to Gen. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to declare the Independent State of Biafra was given to him by the then Eastern Nigeria Consultative Assembly and a large part of Mid Western Region in the present South-East and South-South geopolitical zones of Nigeria.