My stand on IPOB
OpenLife Nigeria reports that over the past few months, there have been repeated violent attacks on innocent citizens in Imo and Ebonyi States.
In all the attacks, which have spread round the entire south eastern Nigeria, jails have been broken and inmates set free.
In other respects, police formations were burnt and innumerable property destroyed with many souls lost.
At every point of the disaster, fingers have been pointed at Fulani herdsmen.
In all this however, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a Biafra separatist organization in Nigeria whose main aim is to restore an independent state of Biafra in the South East of Nigeria through an independence referendum, has been unrelenting in the pursuit of its objectives to secede from Nigeria and form a government of its own.
Its founder, in 2012, Nnamdi Kanu, a British Nigerian political activist, has long drawn a battle line with the federal government of Nigeria, resulting into constant conflicts between military operatives and members of IPOB with deaths trailing each encounter.
This development reawakened the administrative adrenaline of the south east governors who rose from a meeting recently and announced the formation of Ebube Agu, a regional security force to be funded from a common purse and designed to check the increasingly dire security situation in the region.
Analyses by security experts indicate further conflicts in the days ahead between Ebube Agu and IPOB as well as Eastern Security Network, another local security group within the region.
Clearing the air on Monday, Professor George Obiozor, President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide emphasized the superiority of the newly formed Ebube Agu far and above any security group in the south east.
Obiozor who was elected president of the socio-cultural group on Sunday, January 9, 2021, maintained that the governors of the south eastern states who are clearly behind the formation of Ebube Agu, have the mandate of the people through the ballot to take administrative decisions on behalf of the people.
The former director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, maintained that no other group has legally obtained the mandate of the people to discharge security functions on behalf of the people.
“Ebube Agu is superior to IPOB. This is because Ebube Agu has higher hierarchy and responsibility on account of the powers behind its formation,” the former Ambassador to the United States noted.
He however stressed that Biafra is a euphemism for fairness and equity.
“There is Biafra everywhere. Biafra is in every Nigerian. Biafra is about fairness and equity,” he explained.
Though Obiozor believes in the spirit of Biafra, he disagrees sharply with its secessionist ideology propagated by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu which has brought both local and international attentions to the Ndigbos in Nigeria. “I do not believe in secession,” he declared.
Obiozor who was also the high commissioner to Cyprus and Nigerian Ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2003, however called for peaceful resolutions of all the security challenges in Nigeria.
“I am currently in Abuja to preach peace. There is insecurity in the north and south west including south south. We need peace to move Nigeria forward and attract investments,” he cautioned.
It would be recalled that Biafra had previously existed as an Independent Igbo ethnically homogenous Republic declared by Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu for three years, 1967 through 1970.
The then Nigerian federal government fought hard to preserve the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The result of tensions between Biafra and the federal government resulted in the Nigerian civil war that went on for three years.
There were an estimated 3.5 million deaths that were heavily civilian casualties caused by starvation and death on the side of Biafra.
In 1970, the Biafran forces surrendered and the war ended.