Pan-Yoruba social-political organisation, Afenifere and some Igbo groups have insisted that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation.
The groups were reacting to a recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to security agencies to crack down on members of the group and other dissidents in the country.
Afenifere’s national publicity secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, told the Vanguard: “I do not think the president should deal with Boko Haram and IPOB in the same breath. Boko Haram and IPOB are not the same.
“While Boko Haram is a terrorist organization that goes about bombing people and places, IPOB is an open organization. What IPOB has done is to call for a sit-at-home but Boko Haram is a terrorist group, except you want IPOB to go underground like Boko Haram.
“It is a wrong approach. You cannot treat Boko Haram and an open organization like IPOB in the same manner.”
In its reaction, the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), through its secretary, Evangelist Elliot Ugochuchukwu-Uko, said the move is a confirmation of the hatred against Igbos.
His words: “We are not surprised; it is part of the hatred. He can lump IPOB together with ISIS. We even expect him to change the name of Enugu to Islamabad.
“We are asking that Nigeria be restructured. Those killed before were not armed and did not commit any known offence.
“What we are saying is that Nigeria must be restructured, nothing more and nothing less. It is part of Buhari’s hatred for Ndigbo but we are resolute that Nigeria must be restructured. IPOB is not a terrorist organization and we are not surprised with this horrifying decision.”
On its part, the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), said it would rather watch than comment on the situation.
It’s secretary, Professor Elochukwu Amucheazi, said: “We won’t talk now; let’s watch the development. Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 in Bible tells us that there is time for everything. It says that to everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”
In the meantime, the leadership of the IPOB in Ebonyi state said the president’s order was divisive and did not address issues necessary for national unity and development.
Deputy coordinator of the group in the state, Mr. Ugochukwu Nweke, said: “What IPOB is doing is legal and we are not afraid. The president should address Boko Haram in the North-east, the unfortunate quit notice by the Arewa youths, how to boost the economy and the welfare of citizens in Nigeria. He doesn’t have the right to threaten IPOB or any group.”
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General SK Usman has said the recent viral video of the Biafra Secret Service is being addressed by the military.
The army spokesperson made the statement on Tuesday, August 22, in a tweet after a Twitter user demanded to know what the army was doing about the issue.