Chris Steven, Abuja
Igbos across Nigeria and beyond have been called upon to ignore the May 30 sit-at-home order by a character purportedly acting on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB led by Mazi Chika Edoziem.
The National Secretariat of IPOB in a statement on Tuesday distanced itself from the recent order asking Igbos not to go out on Tuesday in the interest of the symbolism of the 30th Remembrance of the defunct Biafra.
According to them, the day represents an enduring epitaph that recalls many great feats, struggles and tribulations.
Speaking on the development, however, Anayo Mbakwe, Director, Strategic Communication, IPOB National Secretariat, called on Igbos to disregard the order and go about their business on the said date.
Mbakwe, affirmed that the statement emanating from the Mazi Chika Edoziem-led faction should be disregarded in its entirety, insisting that the order did not have the blessing of its supreme leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu..
He said, “We received with utter shock and amazement, the laughable buzzing news both in the traditional and social media, signed and circulated by one Mazi Chika Edoziem, purportedly claiming to be Head, Directorate of State of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
“The National Secretariat of IPOB in Nigeria wish to state clearly and in unmistaken terms that the said press statement emanating from Mazi Chika Edoziem should be discountenanced and disregarded in its totality. We strongly condemn it, as dubious, treacherous, unacceptable, illegal and a mockery of the grandeur ideology of our Supreme leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, whose aspirations and target is to achieve a peaceful and rancor-free independent Biafran state.
“Please permit us to put it on record that our secession struggles are henceforth not anchored on coerciveness, violence, breach of public peace, deaths and such allied criminal acts. Those conversant with the new inclination of our Leader, Mazi Kanu, would have known that we have adopted a persuasive and non-violent diction and approach to our separatism agitations.
“Therefore, Mazi Chika Edoziem and his co-travellers are imposters and strangers in our midst who have always sabotaged and exploited the activities of IPOB for personal gains. The faction has again dubiously usurped IPOB’s platform to cause confusion, in order to extort and dupe unsuspecting members of the public, especially Southeasterners’ in the pretension of Remembrance Day for Biafran fallen heroes and Heroines of the Nigerian civil strife of 1967-70, by issuing the illegal sit-at-home order.
“For the avoidance of doubt now and in the future, may we plead the understanding of Nigerians on these in-house betrayers. We wish to document that any genuine and authentic press statement, media or publicity engagement of the public from IPOB’s national secretariat on such a serious issue, which is duly authorized, with the stamp and seal of our Supreme Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is released to the public and signed by Mazi Emma Powerful, IPOB’s media and publicity secretary.
“The designation, office of Head, Directorate of State of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra as flaunted by Mazi Chika Edoziem in the said public statement does not exist in our organizational organogram. He is simply and plainly, a renegade, cheat, an impostor and a criminal who has prepared his armed hooligans’ and miscreants to violently invade the Southeast on May 30, 2018, to kill, maim, loot and abduct scores of our kith and kin in demand for ransom to enrich themselves.
“The statement does not originate from us and it is a betrayal of the cause, our Supreme leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has placed his life on the line these past years. We cannot allow the glaring attempts by selfish and frenzied individuals in our midst to truncate or jeopardize the Biafran cause or derail IPOB’s focus in pursuing the interest of Igbo nation on the secession struggles.
“We remember with much sadness that the same Mazi Edoziem’s faction has clandestinely and consistently worked with the Federal Government to sabotage, undermine and truncate this noble agenda of IPOB. They were the conniving shadows with our “enemies” which led to the forceful invasion of Kanu’s village in order to scar and put permanent fear in the minds of even our diehard loyalists of the struggle.
“All of us know what transpired thereafter and there is no room to allow these same antagonists humiliate our Supreme Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for the second time. We completely reject any attempt by our enemies to re-enact that inglorious saga and we are prepared to fight it conclusively. They are incompetent to either stab us on the back or ride on our backs to the inglorious fame they are seeking.
“We therefore, request security agents to immediately apprehend, interrogate and possibly arraign Mazi Chike Edoziem in court on charges of imposition and acts of treason against the Nigerian state.
“We urge all Ndigbo in the Southeast or domiciled anywhere in Nigeria to go about their normal activities tomorrow, May 30, 2018 without the fear of harassment or molestations. The sit-at-home order grounds the economy of Igbo nation and does not in any way develop us a people.”