Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
As the secret trial of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is set to commence next month, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has hit out at those supporting the secret trial with hooded witnesses, saying they should read history to know that there was no precedence.
IPOB was peeved that some commentators, especially in the social media, have been disparaging its leader and supporting the decision of the federal government to try him using masked witnesses with the excuse that the measure was needed to protect those who would testify against Kanu.
But in a statement issued by its Head of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, the Biafra restoration movement said those backing Kanu’s secret trial should stop their “infantile digression and address the simple question of whether the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was tried in secret when he was tried and convicted of treason in 1963.
IPOB said those using Awolowo’s trial to justify the planned secret trial of Kanu were misrepresenting facts as the charges against the IPOB leader is a lesser offence compared to the treason charges levelled against the leader of the defunct Action Group (AG) and godfather of Yoruba politics.
To drive home their position, the IPOB head of media and publicity drenched Kanu’s traducers with these posers:
“Was Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s treason trial, mind you not treasonable felony, conducted in public or secret? Another question you must answer is this: was the then Action Group and today’s IPOB the same? Which of the two do you consider more dangerous, in view of how the former spread anarchy through major Yoruba towns at that time? I put these questions to you in the hope that you are students of history.
According to IPOB, the same social media commentators it referred to as “internet rats” have forgotten that there is a discipline called history, hence they deliberately dish out false information devoid of facts and figures to deceive and mislead the public.
“Chief Awolowo was charged, tried in the open and convicted of the more serious charge of treason which is a capital offence. He was dumped in Calabar prison until Ojukwu released him.
“Yes Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, an Igbo man and leader of Biafra, granted pardon to Awolowo and released him to Yoruba people. It wasn’t Hausa/Fulani North that released Awolowo, it was a Biafran,” IPOB stated.
The group insisted that its arguments were “verifiable historical facts cleverly hidden by the hegemonies since the release of Awolowo, hence all of you e-rats continue to wallow in stupefying ignorance till date.
“This is IPOB! We deconstruct our enemies with facts and figures; that is why Kanu’s court case is a blessed opportunity for us Biafrans to lay bare before the world and human conscience everything wrong with the contraption called Nigeria and why it should not be one.”