The Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday night, September 16 condemned the south east governor’s forum over its proscription of IPOB’s activities.
Punch reports that IPOB’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, said the speed with which the governors announced the proscription of the group’s activities showed that the governors were disloyal.
Voce of Ndigbo gathered that the IPOB said, “We want to find out how the governors who do not know the foundations of IPOB, would make such a statement when they know that IPOB had staged 297 peaceful protests and rallies both at home and in Diaspora without a single record of violence or crime.
“With the record on ground, IPOB under Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is one of the most peaceful organised freedom fighting group in the world today.
“It is dangerous that the governors who are the chief security officers of their respective states in the zone would decide to hand over their people to the enemies who were out to kill, maim and destroy because of their selfish reasons.
“We are also aware that late Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and General Philip Effiong protected their people during the first pogrom and ethnic cleansing from 1966’to 1970.
“These governors and their collaborators are in the forefront to eliminate our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and other peaceful members of IPOB. It is on record that IPOB activities are peaceful since the inception and nobody can prove where and how IPOB activities became violent overnight.
“The solders brought in to eliminate or murder our leader and IPOB members, including the innocent civilians across Biafra land, are still going from house to house picking anyone suspected to be IPOB or seen with any Biafra insignia.
“IPOB under Kanu must remain a nonviolent group in the pursuit for Biafra freedom, despite the high handedness meted against IPOB members and our leader.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the southeast governors’ forum who is also the Governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi, attributed the proscription of the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra to the agitation for secession by the group.
Umahi spoke in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital, on Saturday, September 17 while briefing journalists on the resolution of his colleagues on the activities of IPOB and the “Operation Python Dance” launched by the military in the southeast.
The governor insisted that the decision would be enforced in the five states.
He said: “The Igbo are not looking for secession at this time, it is not the solution to our problem. If we want Biafra, it is the leaders of the South-East that would be in the fore-front of it, not any other person.
“The ideals and beliefs of IPOB have gone beyond the initial thought of IPOB leaders. Anybody can agitate but it must be devoid of insults from any sources.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has shown maturity in the handling of insults, there must be disagreement, but such disagreement must not degenerate to insulting the President of the country.”
Umahi said there was no way the South-East governors would have supported the activities of IPOB.
He said: “We have the people’s mandate, our task is to avoid shedding of blood and ensure a peaceful existence of our people.
“We had invited Nnamdi Kanu on two occasions, and he honoured our invitation. We told him that he cannot be insulting President Buhari, it is not the solution to the problem of the South-East geo-political zone of the country.”
On the allegations of torture allegedly committed by soldiers involved in the “Operation Python Dance” in Umuahia and Aba, Umahi said the southeast governors have set up a committee to investigate all the allegations.
He said: “We must reiterate that any body found culpable will face the full wrath of the law and be prosecuted.”
Meanwhile, the southeast governors’ forum on Friday, September 15, proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).