The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared its support for the Niger Delta Avengers’ plan to break away from the country on October 1.
The group said its support for Avengers is borne out of their philosophy that is related. It, however, reiterated the fact that it has no working relationship with Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).
The spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful, said: “We have nothing to do with MEND, but our philosophy aligns with that of Niger Delta Avengers, who bravely called for the release of our leader and has maintained it till date. Avengers and IPOB are one in pursuit of freedom for all the peoples of Biafra. IPOB is in total support of the proposed independence declaration proposed by Avengers on the 1st of October.
“IPOB recognises the efforts of the reformed MASSOB as they have publicly stated that they are no longer working with the now discredited leadership of BIM and former MASSOB. As long as they maintain this stance and do not engage in activities capable of undermining the pursuit for freedom, we shall continue to acknowledge their efforts. Some so-called Igbo leaders are mere Hausa Fulani stooges and will kill their own children if the North demands it. Thankfully, we still have honorable Igbo men left.”
He asserted that the group would not soft pedal in spite of the continued detention of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu. “IPOB is not in the business of soft-pedalling like previous groups that may have given the impression they were campaigning for our freedom when all they were after was settlement. At the end of this battle for freedom, the world will know that there are those who cannot be bought nor compromised like Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB that he leads.
“We want, first and foremost, the release of our leader and other detained members of IPOB after which he would direct us on how to negotiate terms of reference for a referendum which we launched a while back. Nobody will be forced or coerced. We want to build a model society based on the consent of the people not one imposed by a few group of people.”
Explaining why two lawyers who spoke on behalf of the group were sacked, Powerful said: “The lawyers spoke out of turn and have been duly sanctioned. We suspect that some elements within the executive of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Governor Rochas Okorocha were behind it. IPOB under instruction from our leader has only three official outlets through which its mind or views can be expressed and these are first his wife, IPOB spokespersons and announcement on Radio Biafra. Apart from these three, no one can claim to represent or speak the mind of our leader. Individuals are allowed to speak their minds but they cannot say they are doing so for our leader without his explicit consent.”
In a separate chat with our correspondent, the factional leader of MASSOB, Uche Madu also joined the call for the release of the IPOB leader, saying: “MASSOB does not see Mazi Nnamdi kanu as one who can betray his belief for Biafra. He is not a sellout, his ideologies about Biafra may differ, he can never betray hundreds of Biafrans that died recently for the course of Biafra. We shall continue to press for the release of Biafra detainees including the ultimate aim of Biafra actualization with non violence. Nigeria will soon experience another dimension of non violence struggle that will marvel them.”
The OYC in a statement by the chairman of the state chairmen, Alex Okemiri debunked allegations that its leader, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, is mobilizing youths across the region to work against Biafra agitators.
”The pro-Biafran groups should sort themselves out and stop linking Ohanaeze youth leadership in their crisis. We believe in a united Nigeria anchored on justice and equity and we have made this clear at all times.”
The planned secession of the Avengers has also attracted knocks from frontline Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark .
Speaking at a one-day Stakeholders Meeting of Niger Delta Coastal states, held in Warri, last weekend, Clark dismissed the threat by the NDA to declare Niger Delta Republic on October 1 saying that the unity of the country was not negotiable and that, the strength of the nation lies in its diverse culture, population and the unity of her people.
He called on the Federal Government to re-visit the restructuring aspect of 2014 national conference report in order to address some of the burning issues of socio-economic and political imbalance in the country.
He said: “I posit that the answers to many, if not all, of these issues are contained in the report of the 2014 National Conference. My strong belief is that only a genuine restructuring of the political administration of the country will remove most of these problems in the country. With such, the issues that lead some of us to take up arms will be resolved.”