A week after former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was assaulted by some members of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Nuremberg at an event organised by the “Ndigbo Germany in Nuremberg, Germany, IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo are still in war of words, even as other leaders and ordinary citizens continue to react to the development.
Shortly after the attack in Germany, Ohanaeze leaders, Southeast governors and other Igbo elders publicly condemned the action of IPOB, describing it as shocking and misplaced.
The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, for example, wrote a letter alleging that IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, had also issued an order to his followers to kill him. Explaining why IPOB singled him out as a target, the Ohanaeze leader said: “The IPOB leader first of all accuses me of being an accomplice to the invasion of his homestead in Umuahia by the Nigerian Army in Operation Python Dance.
“Secondly, he accuses me persistently of being a Fulani stooge who would always do the beckoning of the ruling Fulani elite in Nigeria. He also accuses my late father of being a Fulani stooge.
“He holds me and our Southeast governors and legislators responsible for the marginalisation of the Southeast. He accuses me of being against the realisation of Biafra and a saboteur to the Igbo cause.
“First of all, I am neither the Commander-in Chief of The Nigerian Armed Forces nor a member of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Secondly, I never participated in any meeting where operation Python dance was ever recommended or ordered. Truth is that when the second operation Python dance was ordered, I wrote against it and advised against it in the media. I saw no need for it.”
Reacting to the allegations during the week, IPOB accused Ohanaeze Ndigbo leaders of sabotaging Igbo course. The spokesman of IPOB, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement issued to newsmen yesterday, said the statement released by Nwodo, where he denied agreeing to cede any part of the Southeast for the purpose of RUGA was “cowardly, anti-Biafra utterance with the utmost contempt that it deserves.”
Also, counsel to the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu; Aloy Ejimakor, has debunked news making rounds that his client ordered violence or physical attack on Southeast governors overseas.
In a statement signed personally by Ejimakor, he stated that what the IPOB leader told his supporters is elected leaders from Nigeria and Southeast in particular who prefer junketing and gallivanting abroad instead of working for the electorate should be ready to answer tough questions from Nigerians and the people of Southeast in general who are in Diaspora.
“What Kanu had said, and it’s verifiable, is that Nigerian elected officials, especially those from the Southeast, (including governors), who derelict and still derelict their duties to the people and prefer to junket and gallivant abroad should be ‘prepared to answer tough questions from the Nigerian/Southeast Diaspora.
“In plain terms, the so-called threat is not of violence or battery but of gutsy demonstrations or protests, of tough questions or heckling, of getting really close to the target. Therefore, Kanu never threatened or sanctioned any threat of actual physical violence, assault or battery, or anything that is illegal or criminal. And he had also stated that you don’t have to be afraid if you have done nothing wrong,” he said.
He also said, “I think Nigerians, particularly Igbos need to see the Ekweremadu incident in Germany from the prism of German law, which, as we now know, is unarguably permissive of it.”
On reconciliation of IPOB and the elite of Ndigbo and Nigeria, the statement said: “As regards reconciliation with Igbo elected political leaders, the IPOB had, in the recent past, made public their basic conditions for reconciliation.
“They include particularly the following: (a) Immediate and unconditional de-proscription of IPOB and delisting it as a terrorist organisation. (b) A truth and reconciliation commission on the Python Dance lethal military operations of September 2017. (c) A public apology for the extrajudicial killings of IPOB members and desecration of the palace of an Igbo traditional ruler at Afaraukwu, Abia State. (d) A genuine dialogue with IPOB on its demands for a referendum on the restoration of Biafra. (e) Discontinuance of the ongoing prosecution of IPOB members and forbearance of any future arrests and prosecutions. Is this asking for too much?”
Meanwhile, ordinary Nigerians and other Igbo leaders have reacted to the development. Kinsmen of Senator Ike Ekweremadu, for example, have called for thorough investigation, arrest and prosecution of the people that planned the attack on the senator at Nuremberg, Germany.
Speaking under the aegis of Enugu West Peoples Parliament, they also asked for an explanation by the organisers of the New Yam Festival at Nuremberg on why they failed to provide security for Ekweremadu who in his usual act of patriotism honoured their invitation.
They also urged the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Embassy in Germany and the Nigerian Diaspora Commission to rise to the occasion to ensure that the culprits were brought to book.
The chairman of the group, Jonathan Ivoke, who spoke on their behalf, urged other Igbo diaspora organisations to take note of the threats of IPOB and wondered “how IPOB could have attacked Senator Ekweremadu who on September 18, 2017 wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari and asked for dialogue instead of Operation Python Dance in the Southeast?
“As a member of the National Assembly, I am also privy to numerous efforts Senator Ekweremadu has made to redeem the pride of Igboman in Nigeria, through legislations and oversight functions.
“This is Senator Ekweremadu who has never hidden his colour as a true patriot of the Igbo in Nigeria. He galvanized the Southeast caucus in the National Assembly when establishing an international airport in Igboland became an utmost priority and made members of the National Assembly forgo other budgetary proposals to ensure that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was actualised,” Amadi stated.
He however asked any aggrieved Igbo in Diaspora to come back home and resolve their differences with their brothers instead of fighting in faraway lands.
Founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, in his reaction told The Nation yesterday that the attack on Ekweremadu was not personal. According to Uko, who is also the Secretary General of Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) and the Deputy Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), “the attack is not about an individual or organisation. It is beyond all that. It is about the anger of millions of Igbo youths against the Nigerian state and the Nigerian structure; it is about the anger of Igbo youths against the humiliation of the Igbo people since the 1970s while their leaders continue to dance around the truth. It is not personal to Ekweremadu but it shows how far Igbo leaders have failed to engage Igbo youths; how they have failed to build the necessary synergy with the Igbo youths. It is sad and regrettable.”
The deputy spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu, in his reaction however debunked the insinuation by some fifth columnists that the attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Germany by some militants will affect the Igbo presidency project after the turn of the North. Ibegbu spoke on his personal capacity.
He noted that the attack on ex-President Goodluck Jonathan by some Ijaw militants in the past did not stop him from being president; neither did the rejection of ex-President Obasanjo by the Yoruba in 1999 stop him from becoming president.
“Even the murderous activities of Boko Haram and other seperatists in the North did not stop Yar’adua and Buhari from becoming Nigeria presidents. Why should IPOB and MASSOB activities, which are even done peacefully, be a threat to Igbo presidency project. No, I think it will even enhance it. In any case, it’s not Igbo Presidency but Nigeria Presidency of Igbo extraction,” he said.
Facebook Restores Nnamdi Kanu’s Page
Social media giant, Facebook has republished the page of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
ORIENTAL TIMES had earlier reported that the pro-Biafra leader’s page was shutdown.
The group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement yesterday, had alleged that the action was taken by Facebook Nigeria who, it said viewed the page as a platform to exposing the ills in government.
It warned that Biafra had suffered greatly as a result of denial of media space in the late 60s, saying it could not afford to allow same to continue in the 21st century.
However, a quick check by ORIENTAL TIMES early Friday morning shows that the page has been restored.
Kanu, in a post on the page after it was back on the platform thanked “Biafrans and lovers of freedom on social media for pressurising Facebook to rethink.”
Biafra: ‘If You Don’t Want Us, Then Let Us Go’ — Onyeka Onwenu Tells Nigerian Govt [VIDEO]
Veteran Nigerian singer cum politician, Onyeka Onwenu, has asked the Nigerian government to “let Igbos go” if they’re no longer wanted in Nigeria.
The human rights activist made this statement at a conference tagged: “Never Again Conference: Nigerian Civil War 50 Years After” in commemoration with the Biafra War 50th Anniversary.
Onwenu stated that Nigeria cannot continue to inflict pains on Igbos and expect them to take the pains, adding that the Igbos are children of God and are in Nigeria for a purpose.
The legendary actress warned the rest of Nigerians that even if they continue to insult the Igbos, they (Igbos) will not succumb to intimidation.
Onwenu, who is the immediate past Director-General of the National Center for Women Development in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, warned that Nigeria cannot tell the Igbos to shut up and take the pain that is being inflicted on them.
“Listen, let me say to the rest of Nigerians, you insult us, (sometimes we do same to Nigerians and that is terrible, we have come to a stage where we have to be insulting each other so badly)”?
“Go ahead, we will not succumb, we will not bow. We are children of God, we are here for a purpose, God has put us for that purpose, you cannot drive us to the sea, you cannot tell us to shut up, take the pains that you’re inflicting on us on top of it.
“Listen, if you don’t want us, then let us go.”
“Listen, if you don’t want us, then let us go”
Vintage Onyeka Onwenu
The Elegant Stallion
— Dadiyata The Jonathanian (@The_Jonathanian) January 15, 2020
We Won’t Let IPOB Meeting Hold In Bayelsa — IYC
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Central Zone, has insisted that it would not allow the Indigeneous People of Biafra (IPOB) to hold its meeting in any part of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that IPOB’s scheduled meeting in Yenagoa at the weekend could not hold because the Kennedy Olorogun-led IYC warned against it.
The IYC Chairman threatened that anybody caught holding such meeting in the state would be thoroughly beaten.
Describing such meeting as a threat to Ijaw nation, Olorogun maintained that IPOB should restrict activities for its agitations to its zone.
Clarifying his position, Olorogun told the Nation that the Ijaw people have their agitation against the Federal Government and had pursued it over the years.
He noted that contrary to the claims of some persons, Ijaw is not part of Biafran territory and will never partake in the activities of IPOB.
He explained that agitations had consequences adding that the Ijaw people had managed their issues without involving persons pushing for Biafra.
Olorogun said following tips received by the leadership of IYC that the IPOB members were preparing to arrive Yenagoa for a meeting, he promptly informed security agencies.
He said apart from warning IPOB against holding such gathering, the IYC sent a team to suspected venues and ensured no part of the state was used for the meeting.
He said: “The agitations of Ijaw against the Federal Government was born at the Kaiama Declaration. Right from then, we have pursued these agitations bearing all consequences associated with them.
“We do not want to inherit another agitation. Therefore, we have warned IPOB to stay away from Ijaw territory. We have said it time without number that Ijaw is not part of Biafran territory. They should restrict their activities within their zone.
“We are calling on hardworking Igbo people in our state to go about their businesses and we also want them to warn their IPOB brothers to stay away from the state.
“Any Biafra group caught holding meeting anywhere in Bayelsa State will be tagged as a deliberate attempt to fight the Ijaw people in their house, and we will not tolerate that but will stand to defend our territory with anything
“We also urge Ijaw people to be vigilant and pass information should in case they notice such meeting any day or anywhere in Bayelsa State”.