The youth wing of the pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has urged the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), to rethink its threat to resort to armed self-defence following the latest killing of its members by security agents.
The Ohanaeze Youth Coun¬cil (OYC), which made the appeal in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, described the unwarranted attacks on pro-Biafra agitators by security agents as a ploy by “the enemies of Ndigbo” to provoke them to reprisal.
The National President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, who made the appeal in an interview with The AUTHORITY on Sunday, alleged that some elements in the security circles had been look¬ing for excuses to turn the South East zone into another theatre of war as currently witnessed in the North East, but pleaded with IPOB and other agitators to resist the temptation.
“IPOB and all Biafran agita¬tors should know that some persons in the corridors of power are looking for the slight¬est opportunity to unleash hor¬ror on our people.
“The continued mindless kill¬ing of unarmed Biafran agitators is nothing but a ploy by the architects of Igbo problems to lure the agitators into violence, and tag them as terrorists to justify any military action”, Isiguzoro said.
The OYC leader, who strongly condemned the spate of killings of Biafran activists on peaceful protests, also cautioned against the grave implications of sup¬pressing people’s freedom of expression in a democracy.
He also renewed OYC’s ap¬peal to President Muhammadu Buhari to proffer a political solu¬tion to the primary cause of the wave of protests in South Eastern states by releasing the detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Mr. Kanu has been in detention since last October and is presently being prosecuted by the Department of State Services on treason charges.
“Buhari should release Nnam¬di Kanu to Igbo leaders and that will put an end to the tension in the country over his continued detention”, Isiguzoro said.
He argued that, “the continued detention of Biafran activists at a time when hundreds of sus-pected Boko Haram fighters are being routinely released by the same security agencies raises a lot of questions.
“It boggles the mind to reflect that just on Friday, the army freed about 275 suspected Boko Haram members while on the other hand, Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafran agitators who have never taken up arms against the state are still languishing in jail even when a court has ordered their release”.
The OYC leader further pleaded with the Federal Government to im¬mediately address the causes of the renewed agitation for Biaf¬ran secession such as system¬atic marginalisation of Ndigbo in the power equation of Nigeria and infrastructural decay in the South East.
He also said that OYC will partner Igbo leaders in a bid to intensify ef¬forts towards releasing Kanu and other detained Biafran agitators.