A day after South East governors, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other prominent leaders reaffirmed their faith in a united Nigeria, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has said that they acted alone.
In a reaction to the position of the Igbo leaders on Monday, IPOB said that the governors, Ohanaeze, National Assembly members and traditional rulers, only spoke for themselves and members of their immediate families.
Igbo leaders, including all the five governors from the South Eastern states, National Assembly members, religious leaders and other stakeholders from the zone met in Enugu on Saturday night and opted to remain in a united Nigeria as against IPOB’s quest for the region’s secession.
But yesterday, IPOB expressed disappointment over the position and utterances of the elders at the Enugu meeting, saying that they contradicted the wishes and aspirations of the teeming Igbo people.
The pro-Biafra group said that the leaders’ position did not reflect the will of the ordinary people, but was only meant to protect their interests and that of their immediate families and cronies who have been the beneficiaries of the Igbo common patrimony.
In a statement issued by IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group wondered why the present crop of Igbo leaders lack the courage of former leaders like Dr. Michael Okpara, Akanu Ibiam who put their lives on the line in pursuit of Igbo common cause.
He said: “We members of IPOB under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu find it laughable and unwise for the so called political jobbers in Biafraland who claimed to be Igbo leaders and elite, would allow themselves to be intimidated by their fellow Hausa/Fulani counterparts in Arewaland.
The Arewa elders mandated the so-called Igbo elders and some politicians to disown Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB openly for their contracts and bags which they complied with, but we promise the Arewa and their cohorts that they cannot intimidate IPOB under Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”
“We wondered how the mighty are fallen at this present day generation because of greed, jealousy and envy planted among us by those who were jittery over the popularity of our older generations; all these things coming from the so-called hired Igbo leaders today did not happen during the days of Chief M.I. Okpara, Chief Mbonu Ojike of the boycott of the boycottables; Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, Prof. Kenneth Dike, Prof. Eni Njoku and Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe.”
“Honestly, we find it so appalling that some few individuals today will claim they are speaking for Igbo people to hold us to ransom while they don’t have the mandate to speak for the masses.”
“However, we advise the Hausa/Fulani not to rejoice that they have intimidated some Igbo leaders to submission because of their inability to speak openly against the maltreatment of their people in this contraption called Nigeria today”.
IPOB said that no amount of sabotage, betrayal or intimidation would make them drop the struggle for Biafra.
The group maintained its position on the forthcoming Anambra governorship election, saying that it would continue to boycott elections in Biafraland until a referendum was conducted for Biafra exit.