The man, who founded and nurtured Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, before it was hijacked, Mr. Emeka Emekesiri, has said the Nigerian authorities respected the body until rebellion came in with members of Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB.
Emekesiri, a legal practitioner, said this in his presentation to Igbo Congress at the 3rd Quarter Board/HOD Meeting, where he also stated that that the original plan of IPOB was to achieve a strong, united and well-developed Igbo nation in a united Nigeria, before any other consideration.
He also said the “other consideration” (the Biafra Independence Project) was to be in three phases— Awareness Creation, Regional Autonomy and outright independence in the future.
On how IPOB’s formation, Emekesiri said he founded under the authority of the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra under the leadership of late Igbo icons: His Royal Majesty, His Lordship, the Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu; Dr. Dozie Ikedife; Brig Gen Joe Achuzia; and Chief Barr Debe Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
He said his intention for creating the body under the Elders of the Land was “so that all the Biafran activists would be properly guided and protected; to represent all the remnants of the Biafrans not consumed in the war, which Dr. Dozie Ikedife abbreviated to IPOB in 2013.”
On how IPOB morphed into the proscribed body it is today, Emekesiri said: “The person we put in our Media Department, who came from MASSOB and joined us, introduced the spirit of rebellion and insubordination in the movement.
“He announced on the radio that he had dissolved the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra and had become the leader and founder.
“The same spirit of rebellion followed him and after some years, some of his followers also broke away and created their own faction. Now, there are many factions of IPOB.”
He noted that until there were effective leadership and followership, the Igbo nation would not move forward, which is “why we have made it clear that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the apex Igbo organisation” to which other Igbo organisations must become an affiliate.