By Arogbonlo Israel
The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has reacted to the allegation by the Prediency that the renewed agitation for self determination in the South East was because the federal government had refused to share money to those behind the agitation.
Recall the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Wednesday, April 21, shrugged off threats of Nigeria’s balkanisation by advocates of Biafra and Oduduwa Republics, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be bullied into giving in to their demands.
“President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay and now it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those states and from those regions,” Garba Shehu disclosed.
Reacting, the IPOB’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful in a statement signed on Thursday, begged the federal government to “publish names of those that requested money to drop the quest for Biafran restoration”.
The statement partly read;
“The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great and indomitable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn over the ranting, derogatory, irresponsible and highly provocative remarks by the Presidency through Garba Shehu that the renewed agitation for self determination in the South East was because the federal government had refused to share money to those behind the agitation. Shehu went further in his vituperation and threatened military action to crush those he referred to as ‘the animals disturbing the peace of South East’.
“We therefore, challenge Shehu to mention those the federal government has been paying in the South East to drop the agitation for self determination. If he fails to disclose the identifies of the beneficiaries and evidence of such payments, we will take it to be one of the shameless lies which have become the trademark of the Muhamnadu Buhari-led federal government.
“Without speaking for other proponents of self determination, we know that the federal government of Nigeria has been making frantic but fruitless efforts to induce the leadership of IPOB with money to possibly drop the quest for Biafran restoration.
“Federal government has severally but without success, attempted to buy over our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, making him some irresistible offers. But if there were any parading self as Igbo leader that acepted their offer, we can assure them that such cannot peneterate IPOB. IPOB is not, has never been, and will never be interested in the crumbs from federal government of Nigeria.
“We also wish to remind the Presidency that only a certified and unconscionable moron will ever equate money to the motive behind the growing agitation for self determination across Nigeria. If money is what we want, we know what to do to get more money. How many times in the past did our leader reject your financial inducements? If you know those people that asked Buhari for money, we are begging you to please publish their names. As a people, Biafrans are enterprising and we don’t think we are behind any region in terms of affluence and economic security despite the oppressive policies of this 97 percent versus 5 percent government targeted against our hardworking illustrious sons and daughters and the monopolistic tendencies of the Fulani.
“Our aim for Biafra agitation is freedom! We are tired of sharing a geographical space with terrorists. We are tired of being ruled by government officials who dine and wine with terrorists but brutalise and kill law abiding freedom fighters. We are tired of being ruled by a government that pays ransom to bandits, frees terrorists but jails unarmed protesters. We are tired of oppressive government that promotes nepotism and injustice.
“Nothing can change our resolve to free Biafra from the Nigeria. No amount of propaganda by government can make us change our mind. In case Shehu and his Presidency don’t know, Biafra is more imminent than they think. The night is far spent, and the new dawn is almost here with the Rising Sun of our great nation at the threshold!
“The threat by the Presidency to order military operation to crush the animals disturbing the peace in South East, has simply confirmed our alarm all the while of those sponsoring the escalating insecurity in the zone to provide an excuse for another military operation to kill more innocent Biafrans. It’s only unfortunate that the political elite for their selfish interests have failed to realise this.
“But we ask the Presidency to first crush the bandits and terrorists overrunning the entire North and middle Belt before embarking on any military operation in the South East, otherwise they may have to prepare very well.”