*… says no to conditions
By Nwabueze Okonkwo & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
ONITSHA—The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, said it welcomed, with open arms, the recent declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari that anybody who wants to, is free to leave Nigeria.
The group said it is, therefore, expressing the hope that Buhari would now stop the arrest and detention of peaceful and unarmed IPOB members, who are agitating for Biafra and hurriedly their detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and others, who they described as illegally detained prisoners of conscience.
In a statement by their spokespersons, Mr. Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, IPOB declared: “We look forward to President Muhammadu Buhari making arrangements for a bipartisan meeting of Arewa-dominated Nigeria and IPOB for the purpose of determining the modalities and date of a Biafrexit referendum to determine the will of the people once and for all, so that we can go home and rebuild our battered but blessed nation of Biafra.”
In the statement entitled IPOB welcomes Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration on the impending disintegration of Nigeria, but says no to certain conditions he attached to it, IPOB said for once, Buhari had spoken reasonably though his conditions are not acceptable to them.
According to the statement, “Buhari needs to come to terms with the fact that IPOB will not leave any part of Biafraland, from the plains of Idomal to the shorelines of Opobo Kingdom, to become a conquered territory like the Yoruba-owned Ilorin, which today is under a caliphate rule answerable to the Sultan of Sokoto and not the Ooni of Ife.”
Insisting that the restoration of the nation of Biafra is irrevocably sacrosanct and irreversible, that no amount of gamesmanship on the part of Buhari and his colonial handlers can stop it, IPOB noted that by that declaration, Buhari seemed to have bowed to international pressure to consider the inevitable disintegration of Nigeria, though with conditions found to be inconsistent with common sense and logic.
IPOB quoted Buhari as declaring to Niger Delta leaders, during a meeting with them, that “any Nigerian is free to leave the country if they have another one…. If anybody has a country to go to, let him go, we will stay here and salvage our country.”