*Urges southeast governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, well-meaning Igbo sons to stop Kanu’s security outfit
By Joseph Erunke
A group, Conference of Igbo Professionals Worldwide, COIPOW, has joined in the clamour for imminent president of Igbo extraction, saying it was time for Nigeria to achieve it.
But the group condemned the activities of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and asked governors of the South East region, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and well meaning Igbo sons and daughters to rise against the proscribed group by denouncing it wholeheartedly.
The group which flayed the formation of Eastern Security Network by Kalu also urged the leadership of the region to rise against the action.
In a statement Wednesday, signed by its National President, Prof. Patrick Kalu, and National Secretary, Dr. Uche Mbaka, the group while describing the Eastern Security Network as Illegal, expressed fear that the militia outfit may worsen the insecurity of the South East if not immediately stopped.
It explained that its position came following an emergency National meeting held in Akwa Anambra state, On 22/12/2020 and attended by key Igbo leaders, “where they deliberated and agreed on pushing for Igbo presidency come 2023.”
It alleged that the weapons branded by the group in its recently released video were those carted away from police armouries in the region during the recent #EndSARS protests.
“We wish to express our profound appreciation to the key Igbo leaders that attended our just concluded emergency meeting held in Akwa, Anambra State, where we deliberated and agreed on pushing for Igbo presidency come 2023.
“This is the sure way to go and not the way the acclaimed leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wants through the barrel of the gun. The gunpoint approach by Mr. Kanu is certainly not the way-out and he must be told so loud and clear,” it said.
According to the group, ” Igbo people deserve the Presidency this time around. They have all it takes to produce the next president of Nigeria and that is what we should be pushing for now with one strong voice in unity and sincerity of purpose. ”
“We cannot be demanding for president of Nigeria on one hand and on the other hand, supporting IPOB which is being fraudulently financed by Kanu and his agents to destabilize a united Nigeria through cessation and a parallel security organization.
“Nobody will take us seriously if we don’t take urgent steps to set the record straight by outrightly denouncing the inglorious activities of IPOB and its sponsors and founder, Nnamdi Kanu.
“It is on this premise that we strongly condemn the proscribed IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi for forming the so-called Eastern Security Network in some parts of the East,” it said.
The Conference of Igbo Professionals Worldwide, said, “Forming this militia group at this critical time when we should be seen as peaceful and law-abiding people that we are, is indeed not the best.”
“It must be known that IPOB and the so-called Eastern Security Network do not have our blessings and will never do.
“We particularly call on the governors of the southeast states and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide to rise not only to condemn but also stop this brazing act of criminality which may have a grave consequence on the entire Igbo nation if nothing is done urgently.
” We wish to state emphatically without hesitation that the IPOB and its leaders are a bunch of ignorant young men and mostly criminals who participate in armed robbery, kidnapping and sometimes bunkering activities in the South East and South-South states” it added.
The statement read further: “These IPOP members carry out their nefarious activities because of their selfish gains and interests and not that of Ndigbo Nation as they want to make us believe. They are being manipulated by Nnamdi Kanu who is being bankrolled by his local and international sponsors.
“We are aware that they carted away several weapons and ammunition from the police stations they looted during the #ENDSARS# protests; particularly in Obigbo in River State.
“They will further worsen the security situation in the South East with their so-called outfit.
“They should not be tolerated by the state governments and people of the South East.”
It tasked the federal government to ” take necessary steps to stop them”, adding,”They are not holding any territory and cannot.”
“We are also aware that some enemies of Nigeria and powerful politicians who are also interested in the politics of 2023 may be sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu to put the Igbo people in a bad light just to achieve their agenda of making the Igbo people disunited before Nigerians,” it alleged.
According to the group, “This is why the entire Ndigbo worldwide must resist this nonsense called the Eastern Security Network and its sponsors because it’s a clear ploy to rob Ndigbo of another opportunity of the Presidency using our criminal son, Kanu. ”
“Cessation will not solve the problem of marginalization but restructuring, where every Nigerian will have an equal stake in the country,” it warned.
“We must know that the so-called Eastern Security Network financiers are not out for our interest but theirs. If we don’t stop them, very soon, they will start robbery, kidnapping, rape, assassinations, and other heinous crimes in our region.
“Hence we must be smart not to be cajoled by Nnamdi Kanu who lives abroad but collecting money to destabilize our country.
“We have too many investments in Nigeria to leave for anybody. We must remain in here and fight legally to take our rightful place in Nigeria,” it further said.