By Clifford Ndujihe
THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, picked holes in the comments of President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, that the apex Igbo socio-cultural body supported the decision of the South-East Governors in proscribing IPOB’s activities because the decision saved several lives and doused the tension in Igboland.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, IPOB said the comments “were lies designed to blackmail and paint us as violent, disrespectful and unintelligent bunch of ingrates and is only an arm of the war declared on us by the Federal Government of Nigeria, using resources earned from the oil coming out of the sacred land of Biafra.”
The secessionist group gave reasons it parted ways with the Ohanaeze leader, Chief Nwodo.
It said: “When our leader visited Chief Nwodo at his Enugu residence on a courtesy call, Nwodo deliberately arranged a top American official of the U.S Embassy to appear and confirm the presence of our leader at his residence.
“We were shocked, disappointed and let down at the fact that he could not resist the temptation to trade with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s visit to his residence.
“When we paralysed Biafraland on May 30 and the oppressor panicked and responded with a quit notice, the Federal Government immediately reached out to all the zones and Nwodo moved his train to Abuja and met with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and announced that checkpoints and appointments into Buhari’s government were our only grouse with Nigeria.
“This is a blatant lie because our leader agreed with Nwodo that Nigeria must show commitment towards addressing our key demand, which is referendum.
“Nwodo did not inform our leader that a meeting was scheduled with Osinbajo despite the fact that IPOB agitation was what led to the meeting being convened in the first place.
“Nwodo did not ask for our input or grouse with Nigeria before going to demand for a few ministerial appointments for his friends at the expense of our freedom as a people.
‘Insults on our leader’
“When the Presidency, without provocation, launched into a tirade of hate speech against our leader by calling him a tout, a nonentity and a scoundrel, who is not regarded as a leader and therefore was not and will never be invited to any meeting at Aso Rock, Nwodo and his local cabal rejoiced.
“Nwodo went to Anambra State House of Assembly to disparage our leader for demanding that the hopelessly oppressed people of Eastern Nigeria, most especially Anambra State, would henceforth embark on civil disobedience and passive resistance, which includes election boycott.
“Nwodo, like everybody else, knows that crowd that attend IPOB rallies and events number in their millions, yet till date no single incident of violence has ever been recorded at any of our gatherings.
“So where does the appellation of a violent group come from? This is a question Nwodo must answer. Everybody knows it for a fact that Nwodo inspired the governors to join the well-orchestrated Arewa persecution of IPOB and its leader.
“Nwodo held a meeting in Abuja with Presidency officials, where Python Dance was planned and approved. He mounted pressure on the governors to proscribe IPOB.”