*IPOB disowns, warns Ohanaeze over negotiation for his release
By Anayo Okoli & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has warned those who are claiming to be representing the group, including the members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and its youth wing to stop such move, that nobody speaks or represents them, unless such a person or persons are designated officers of IPOB worldwide.
The group also said that its leader Mr. Kanu said he would rather die in jail than for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to claim the glory of his release as he has no business with the Igbo Socio cultural organization.
”I will rather die in jail than for Ohanaeze Ndigbo to claim the glory of my release,“ Kanu reportedly said.
IPOB in a statement signed by its United Kingdom spokesmen, Dr Clifford Iroanya and Emma Mmezu, a lawyer said: “We are in court and our wish is to expose the fraudulent charge of treasonable felony before the whole world. At the end of this case, the corrupt and compromised segment of the Nigerian judiciary will be publicly disgraced.
“Our march to freedom is unstoppable; this is something Buhari ought to know. We have come to die for Biafra if that is what it will take to be free. Our resolve should not be underestimated. As our leader will always say, “Nigeria will kill us, we will kill them but in the end, we will win.”
IPOB reaction follows an alarm raised from Enugu yesterday by some of the group’s members that some people suspected to be Ohanaeze Ndigbo and their youth wing were impersonating IPOB leaders in Enugu, claiming to be representing IPOB in meeting with some American officials who were in Nigeria to have a meeting with the group on the release of their leader. IPOB officials said such a negotiation would need the designated presence and contribution of IPOB members, but they were not informed.
“The people went ahead to speak for IPOB when they do not have the power and authorization of the group to speak for them.
“People alleged to be members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Ohanaeze Youth wing were said to have met with some Americans at Nike Lake Resort Hotel between 6pm and 7pm Saturday evening.”
Information about the alleged meeting at the hotel was said to have gotten the attention of the United Kingdom spokespersons of IPOB, who felt embarrassed by the meeting and some of the demands the people claiming to be representing IPOB said should be done for the group for peace to reign.
“If any country or group is coming to Nigeria to discuss anything concerning IPOB and the release or freedom of our incarcerated leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnandi Kanu, it is not Ohanaeze Ndigbo or their youth wing that will speak for us because they are not our members and so, cannot represent or speak for us. We urged the Americans who came for the meeting that the alleged representatives of IPOB did not represent or have our support. Nobody speaks or represents IPOB except its principal and designated officers.
“We learnt that they cornered some Americans who came to Enugu to have audience with the IPOB over the way forward on the issue of Biafra agitation and the continued incarceration of our leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. We want to let the world know that they do not have authority to speak or represent us. They are on their own and should be ignored.
“We want to use this opportunity to tell the Americans that came and the world that the people who claimed to have represented IPOB in the meeting were impostors, they are not members of IPOB, they are the usual Ohanaeze contractors who will always condemn IPOB, but will be fast to hijack anything good that is coming to the South East states through IPOB. They do not have our support and will never represent us in anything.
“We want to tell the representatives of the American government who met with them at Nike Lake Resort Hotel between 6pm and 7pm Friday evening to ignore them and whatever discussion concerning IPOB they had with them, because it does not represent our views or demands as IPOB members” they said.
But in a swift reaction, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, denied that it was working to trade off MASSOB/IPOB, saying that it has rather continued to work hard to secure the release of the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
Reacting to the allegation that it held discussion with certain USA Embassy Group on the Biafran agitation where it allegedly traded off both MASSOB and IPOB, the group denied the allegation in a statement which read: “The attention of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council is drawn to a rumour peddled by some enemies of Ndigbo and busy body alarmists to the effect that a USA-based delegation that came to Nigeria held discussions with the National leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council and at the purported meeting, the Biafran cause was betrayed by the Ohanaeze Youth Council.
“This story and rumour is a blatant lie. Nothing like that happened. It’s the figment of imagination of the rumour peddlers.”
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council had been at the forefront of the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. They have always stood and called on the Federal Government to be fair, just and equitable to Ndigbo. They have interacted and continued to interact with MASSOB/IPOB leaders with a view to finding an amicable solution to the issue on ground.
“We call on all Igbos, MASSOB/IPOB members and Nigerians to disregard the rumour which is completely false. We must continue to seek for ways to address the issues and challenges confronting the Igbo nation within the contest of a United Nigeria that is just equitable and fair to all.
“We will not be deterred by the blackmail from enemies of Ndigbo in other to distract us. Radio Biafra should cross check their facts before broadcasting. Our advice to Biafra agitators in diaspora is to confirm any Information before disseminating it as we believe that self determination is a just cause but should be through referendum.
“Finally, dialogue is the best way of resolving conflicts, as we are the major stakeholder in Igbo land, we are at the final stage to see Nnamdi Kanu regain his freedom and no threatening calls and messages from enemies of Ndigbo will ever distract Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth council worldwide from playing the same historic role the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije played to release then Ralph Uwazurike and Uche Madu from detention, as only political solution remains the way to free Freedom Fighters worldwide.
“The National President of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council worldwide, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro will continue to work assiduously with other stakeholders to see that Nnamdi Kanu regains his freedom soonest”, the statement signed by the OYC Secretary, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said.