The Igbo in Nigeria Movement (INM) has faulted the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu for declaring attacks on Igbo leaders.
The group labeled them enemies of the Igbo nation for clamping down on southeast leaders especially after the attack on former Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
The group said the recent order by the IPOB leader to attack high profile Igbos and other Nigerians abroad was as a deliberate attempt to set up the Igbo.
INM warmed IPOB that the attack on Ike Ekweremadu, a senator from Enugu state, in Germany, should be the last as further attacks on any other Nigerian will not be taken lightly.
Ifeanyi Igwe, president of INM, spoke at a press conference on Sunday.
He vowed that going forward, any attack on an Igbo leader or any Nigerian citizen abroad shall be responded to by a disproportionately harsher attack on the families of the participating IPOB members.
The statement below:
We are all witnesses to the recent attack on former Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Ike Ekweremadu by terrorists that identified as belonging to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The attack resonates with us for two reasons: first is that it took place in faraway Nuremberg, Germany and; secondly, because Senator Ekweremadu is not just Igbo but is also about the highest-ranking Igbo politically having occupied the position of Deputy Senate President for twelve years.
In spite of the widespread condemnation that trailed the attack, it is now apparent that it was not a random one-off incident. Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB have gone ahead to threaten other Igbo leaders by placing a N1 million bounty on their heads should they visit Europe. We had thought that this was merely the result of a deep animosity to Igbo leaders that once mistakenly backed IPOB but later withdrew their support. Unfortunately, Kanu has now issued a similar threat against President Muhammadu Buhari, inciting his terrorists to attack the President who is on a visit to Japan.
Igbo in Nigeria Movement (INM) was among the few groups that were able to identify IPOB as a terrorist group even before it was formally proscribed by the government. It was a conclusion we reached after assessing the posture of IPOB and Kanu, which led to that realization that they do not have positive aspirations for the Igbo race and were certainly committed to pursuing an agenda that is dangerous to the wellbeing of our people. We realized early enough that IPOB was dangerous to the Igbo interest.
We have again made the assessment that IPOB has entered a new phase of terrorism, which involves intimidating our people from travelling abroad. The context we are making this assessment may be lost on some people at the moment but our concern will be appreciated from the realization that IPOB has practically arrogated the powers of an independent state to impose a travel restriction on politicians and businessmen of Igbo extraction in a bid to coerce them into supporting their terrorist cause. Considering that commerce is the mainstay of the Igbo economy, this is a tactic to prevent our high-ranking citizens from carrying out their legitimate businesses in other parts of the world. It is a strategy with grave consequences for the long-term stability of Igboland.
It is on this basis that we ask the Igbo politicians that nurtured Kanu and IPOB into the monsters they have become to take a look at their handwork. As at the time we were raising the alarm over the true nature of this abomination some of these politicians opted to allow their bias and sentiments against other ethnic groups to cloud their judgment. Today, IPOB is using the threat of violence and actual violence to force these same politicians to continue supporting its terrorist stance. Kanu has not only abandoned them when it matters most, but he has also like a rabid dog turned on these people that now want to stop supporting IPOB as a terrorist organization.
Irrespective of Kanu’s rants, Kanu does not have the capacity to slow down the continued economic development of Ndigbo, whether abroad as he is trying to do or here in Nigeria. The Igbo spirit cannot be bowed. Anyone of Igbo ancestry that tries to truncate the Igbo travel in quest of furthering our collective agenda or in pursuit of commerce commits aalu. We are therefore constrained to declare Nnamdi Kanu as a persona non grata over the attack on Senator Ekweremadu. We similarly declare all the IPOB terrorists that helped him carry out this attack as outcasts until they show contrition, give themselves up for cleansing and seek forgiveness.
Igbo are known for being good ambassadors; at any point in time, it is our best that should represent us in any part of the world and not the kind of miscreants that we saw on that video of the assault on Senator Ekweremadu. Igbo in Nigeria Movement, therefore, uses this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to work with the authorities in Germany to repatriate all those identified as taking part in the attack for them to come and stand trial at home. The Federal Government should go one step further by compiling a list of those that identify as IPOB members and make same available to countries of the world so that such terrorists can be expelled from these countries before they further tarnish the Igbo heritage and Nigeria’s image.
In the case of Kanu, it is pertinent for the government not to forget that he is a fugitive from justice since he jumped bail to escape trial for terrorism and treason. All possible diplomatic channels should be explored to return him before the court in Nigeria so that his trial can be concluded and his prison term handed to him.
We warn the IPOB members abroad that the attack on Senator Ekweremadu must be the last of its kind even as the demand continues for the government to exact consequences from those that were responsible. But going forward, any attack on an Igbo leader abroad shall be responded to by a disproportionately harsher attack on the families of the participating IPOB members. Of course, we know ourselves so finding the homesteads of these miscreants will not be a problem – if they have a property in their villages or anywhere in Nigeria, we will raze them down. We will encourage the willing among Igbo at home to go after their families back in Nigeria.
As part of measures to ensure these are not empty words, we have begun a beta project that involves using digital tools and social media to identify IPOB members in the Diaspora and to use the data so gathered to locate the villages, clan and even compounds of these terrorists. We are only waiting for them to be irresponsible enough to carry out one more attack and they will hear from us.