A secessionist group, Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPBO, has warned those who are claiming to be its representatives, including members of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and its youth wing, to stop such moves.
The group said nobody speaks or represents its interest except such person or persons are designated officers of IPOB worldwide.
Recall that Ohanaeze Youth Council had met with some Presidency officials and is set to meet with prominent traditional rulers towards arriving at a political solution to the continued incarceration of the pro-Biafran group’s founder, Nnamdi Kanu.
But IPOB said its founder expressed his desire to die in jail than allow the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization claim credit for his release as he has no business with Ohanaeze.
Mr. Kanu was reportedly quoted by the group as saying “I’ll rather die in jail than for Ohanaeze Ndigbo to claim the glory of my release”.
IPOB, in a statement signed by its United Kingdom spokespersons, Dr. Clifford Iroanya and Emma Mmezu, a lawyer said: “We are in court and our wish is to expose the fraudulent charge of treasonable felony before the whole world”.
The IPOB spokespersons expressed confidence that the end of Mr. Kanu’s trial, “the corrupt and compromised segment of the Nigerian judiciary will be publicly disgraced”.
They continued: “Our march to freedom is unstoppable; this is something [President Muhammadu] Buhari ought to know. We have come to die for Biafra, if that is what it will take to be free. Our resolve should not be underestimated as our leader will always say ‘Nigeria will kill us, we will kill them but in the end, we will win’”.
IPOB also disowned Ohanaeze Ndigbo and its youth wing, who it claimed to be impersonating its leaders in Enugu during a purported meeting with some American officials who were in Nigeria to have a meeting with the group on the release of Kanu.
The group said such a negotiation would need the designated presence and contribution of IPOB members, but they were not informed.
“The people went ahead to speak for IPOB when they do not have the power and authorization of the group to speak for them.
“People alleged to be members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Ohanaeze youth wing were said to have met with some Americans at Nike Lake Resort Hotel between 6pm and 7pm Saturday evening”, IPOB disclosed.
It was learnt that information about the alleged meeting at the hotel was said to have been leaked to the U.K spokespersons of IPOB, who felt embarrassed by the meeting and some of the demands the people claiming to be representing it made, for peace to reign.
“If any country or group is coming to Nigeria to discuss anything concerning IPOB and the release or freedom of our incarcerated leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, it is not Ohanaeze Ndigbo or their youth wing that will speak for us because they are not our members and so, cannot represent or speak for us”, the statement said.
While informing the Americans who came for the meeting that those they met for negotiations are not IPOB members and do not have its support, IPOB maintained that nobody speaks or represents its interests except its principal and designated officers.
“We learnt that they corner some Americans who came to Enugu to have audience with the IPOB over the way forward on the issue of Biafra agitation and the continued incarceration of our leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
“We want to let the world know that they do not have authority to speak or represent us. They are on their own and should be ignored.
“We want to use this opportunity to tell the Americans that came and the world that the people who claimed to have represented IPOB in the meeting were impostors, they are not members of IPOB, they are the usual Ohanaeze contractors, who will always condemn IPOB, but will be fast to hijack anything good that is coming to the South East states through IPOB. They do not have our support and will never represent us in anything.
“We want to tell the representatives of the American government, who met with them at Nike Lake Resort Hotel between 6pm and 7pm Friday evening to ignore them and whatever discussion concerning IPOB they had with them, because it does not represent our views or demands as IPOB members”, the statement read.