Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has berated former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for asking Igbo leaders to disown Biafra agitators and campaigners, saying the advise will not solve the Biafra issue.
Kwankwaso, largely regarded as a hardliner in the camp of those opposed to restructuring Nigeria, had reportedly asked Igbo leaders to repudiate IPOB and all that the separatist group stands for in order to convince the rest of Nigeria that they believe in the indivisibility of the country.
But in a statement issued yesterday by the Head Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, IPOB said the former Kano governor was embarking on a wild goose chase by thinking that Igbo leaders could influence the activities and leadership of Biafra agitators like IPOB.
The group vehemently condemned the statement credited to Kwankwaso, pointing out that the hardline northern politician â€œdoes not understand the workings, what IPOB stands for, including its agitation for the restoration of Biafra,â€ hence his simplistic belief that disowning IPOB would end the quest for Biafra self determination.
â€œWe in IPOB do not care if anybody or hired group from anywhere in Nigeria, disown us; our focus is on Biafra restoration. In as much as our leader and Director of Radio Biafra and Biafra Television, Nnamdi Kanu, respects genuine Igbo leaders, he does not care what name the few Hausa Fulani errand boys in Igboland call him.
â€œHe (Kanu) only does what IPOB requires of him to do. Our leader is focused, determined and unyielding in his quest to achieve Biafra and nothing will make him and all of us to change our minds, not even the threat by the savage blood thirsty Northern youthsÂ against Biafrans living in the North will make us change our mind,â€ IPOB said.
The group explained that its leadership worldwide headed by Kanu â€œis not working with the so called Igbo leaders (and) we believe that IPOB quest for restoration of Biafra is not for anyone who does not believe in freedom.â€
However, IPOB stated that it was â€œready to work with anybody who is sincere and not those who sabotage the struggle for their selfish gainâ€, adding that even if â€œIgbo leaders hand picked by Kwankwasoâ€ and the presidency disown IPOB and other groups agitating for Biafra restoration â€œit will not stop the activities and determination of IPOB to achieve Biafra restoration.
According to the statement, IPOB is a mass movement that enjoys global acceptance and membership and â€œbecause it is God ordained projectâ€ there was no way Kwankwaso his ilk could suppress the movement for the restoration of Biafra no matter how hard they try.
In berating Kwankwaso, IPOB noted that the former Kano governor has by his words and action, revealed his support and sponsorship of the Arewa youths who issued quit notice to Igbos residing in northern states. It warned of dire consequences of any attempt to massacre Igbos again.
â€œWe pity them because they do not know that Biafrans of today are not of the same breed as those they massacred in 1967 and 1970 at will without retaliation. If they try the same nonsense today they will get a dose of their senseless attacks and stupidity back,â€ IPOB said.
It urged Britain to â€œtake note of the war mongering by Arewa and caution them to be more civilised in their utterances because threats and intimidation does not work with IPOB.â€
IPOB further reminded Kwankwaso that threats and intimidation do not constitute a stumbling block for people seeking for freedom and if he is hoping to call upon Igbo leaders to destabilise IPOB it would not work out.
It pointed out that the kind of Igbo leaders that would heed Kwankwasoâ€™s call â€œno longer matter in the society as they are the ones causing the delay in the restoration of Biafra because of their sabotage.â€