…as IPOB visits him to apologise over Enugu ECA meeting incident
By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
NNEWI—A renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze has said he will not be part of any kind of peace talk until the Federal Government unproscribes the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and have it removed from its list of terrorist organisations.
Prof Nwabueze also warned the Federal Government to be careful in treating the issues of IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups, as the agitations are still being spearheaded by the youths.
He stated this when the leadership of IPOB visited him in his Kosisieme Family Estate residence in Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State, to apologise to him and the leadership of Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, for disrupting their meeting in Enugu on February 27, 2018.
Also represented during the visit was Secretary General of ECA, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, Mr. Obi Thompson of World Igbo Congress, WIC and a member of Abia State Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Chijioke Aguocha.
The reverred professor of constitional law said that “if the injustice being meted by the Federal Government on IPOB is not addressed, it will get to the stage when it will become an all embracing Igbo movement, that elders like me will take over the agitation and it will spell doom for the country.”
Prof. Nwabueze said that “the injustice meted on Ndigbo and everything concerning them in Nigeria, justify the agitation by IPOB,” adding that “injustice against Ndigbo, dates back to 1965 when the Governing Council of University of Lagos, dominated by the Yoruba attempted to illegally remove a Vice Chancellor of Igbo extraction of the institution, Prof. Enyi Njoku.
“I still remember the story of University of Lagos when on 2nd March 1965, then I was a lecturer in the newly established University of Lagos, they attempted to remove Prof. Enyi Njoku as the Vice Chancellor and I said no, we will not accept that. I mobilised all the university students and lecturers in protest and the university was closed down for a whole session.
“We fought the Federal Government of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa to a stand still. I was arrested and sentenced to six months imprisonment by a Yoruba Magistrate for leading the protest and we appealed the judgment and a Sierra-Leonian Judge, J.S Taylor threw the judgment away and reversed my six months imprisonment and I regained my freedom and there was jubilation everywhere in Lagos by Ndigbo.
He berated the Buhari-led Federal Government for proscribing IPOB when organisations and associations like armed herdsmen, whom he said had massacred and slaughtered many Nigerians and are still killing people, have not been proscribed or declared a terrorist organisation.
“I will not be part of any kind of peace talk until the IPOB is unproscribed, until the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation is removed. If the Federal Government has the courage to meet these two conditions, okay. We can talk peace and I will be there. If not, then count me out.
“I will not participate in any kind of peace talk so long as IPOB remains proscribed, so long as IPOB remains a terrorist group or organisation in the eye of the Federal Government. IPOB is only agitating for Biafra and self determination; they have killed nobody. On the contrary, IPOB members have been killed and are still being killed by the Federal Government’s troops,” he said.
According to the Odua of Atani as Prof. Nwabueze is known in his community, “nothing has been done to t hose who have committed murder and slaughtered innocent and law abiding citizens. You have not even disarmed the herdsmen, they are still moving about with AK 47riffles slaughtering people all over the places.”
Earlier, IPOB in a letter of apology presented to Prof. Nwabueze and the leadership of Eastern Consultative Assembly and read by its African Representative and Nigeria Coordinator, Mr. George Onyeibe, said: “With a deep sense of responsibility, we have come today to apologise to our highly esteemed leader, father and elder, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, who was inadvertently embarrassed by angry brothers and sisters at the ECA event at Universal Hotel Enugu on Tuesday 27th February, 2018.
“It is ironic that the most credible and inspiring leaders who command our respect were all gathered there on that fateful Tuesday. The long exploitation and oppression caused our reaction because we have had enough of Nigeria and its injustices.”