Bianca, the widow of the late Biafra warlord, Odumegwu Ojukwu, has said that there is no justification for the categorization of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organization by the Nigerian army and proscription by the southeast governors.
IPOB members on parade
However, Bianca’s reaction seems to coincide with a new statement by the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, who said the army did not declare IPOB a terrorist organisation. His new statement seems to contradict the army high command position on the controversial issue when it declared the group a terrorist organisation.
Voice of Ndigbo gathered that Bianca while lending her voice, said every Igbo son and daughter ought to condemn the categorization of IPOB as a terrorist organization because it is a harmless group.
According to her, dialogue remains a better way of calming the agitation of especially the Igbo youths whom she said have continued to become disillusioned with the Nigerian collective existence, saying surely another spring shall rise, in God’s own time.
She said: “The federal government has just declared IPOB a terrorist organisation after the Operation Python Dance 2 debacle with its attendant military occupation of our homeland. There is simply no justification for this categorization. The members of this movement do not bear arms. While I might have reservations about their sometimes provocative rhetoric as well as some of their tactics, this branding is to say the least, extreme.
“Ndigbo bear a painful historical burden. We lost almost 3 million of our people, almost a quarter of our population at the time between 1966 and 1970 in our battle for survival. Global and Regional Organisations did nothing; the world superpowers and most foreign governments looked the other way…and little has changed since then.
“Otherwise the horrendous crimes against humanity would not have occurred in Rwanda, Darfur, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Congo, not to mention Syria.
“Someone once said that the world laments atrocities only in aftermath, but not in the lead up when something could have been done. We have travelled this road before. We are now walking the minefield. When the tanks roll in, and the casualties begin to mount, the world will yet again call it another ‘internal matter’ or ‘ ethnic conflict’. And tell us that we ought to be grateful that we were not exterminated upon surrender.
“We owe it to the memory of those who we loved and lost, who were let down by those who could have come to their rescue, and who paid the supreme price in our battle for survival to say NEVER AGAIN. OZOEMENA.
“This is the time to apply the brakes. We must impress it upon our youth, who have become disillusioned and have lost hope in our collective existence in a union in which they feel increasingly excluded and isolated, the need to tread with caution. There is need to explore other avenues, and the doors must never be shut against dialogue.
“Surely another spring shall rise, in God’s own time , But what every onye Igbo must rise up against is this categorization of IPOB or any other pro Biafra movements which are not armed militias as terrorist organizations, and the increased military presence in the southeast.”
Senate president Bukola Saraki, also announced that the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group by the Nigerian army is unconstitutional.
The Senate president also claimed that the proscription of the IPOB by the southeast governors is unlawful.
In a statement by Saraki, he urged all parties involved to allow peace reign while he and the National Assembly begin a thorough investigation of the crises.