The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Thursday corrected an information published in an unnamed media describing Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, Gen. Alex Maduebo, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, as commanders of the group.
The pro-Biafra group in a statement jointly signed by its spokesmen, Barr. Emma Mmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, said whereas the group only identified the named men as Igbo leaders of high repute who could lead its negotiation, “some enemies of peace have deliberately and mischievously twisted our suggestion to mean that they are members of IPOB.”
The statement titled, “Anyaoku, Ekwueme, Nwabueze and co not IPOB commanders,” reads:
“It has come to our notice that agents of our oppressors and avowed enemies of peace and justice have deliberately and mischievously twisted our suggestion that the visiting US congressional delegation will meet with Anyaoku, Ekwueme, Nwabueze and co, to mean that these great gentlemen have suddenly become IPOB members. This is not so, hence this clarification.
“Three weeks ago, the US Consular General visited the Southeast on a fact finding mission. Surprisingly, he met only with the All Progressives Congress, APC, Executive Committe in Enugu and predatory elements of moribund Ohanaeze where road construction, second Niger Bridge, appointment for more Ndigbo into Buhari’s cabinet among others were presented to the US delegation as the reason for our agitation for freedom by these pathetic and God forsaken groups.
“Again, two days ago, a delegation of US congressional staff arrived from Washington DC led by a senior staff of US Embassy in Nigeria and met with Ohanaeze at Nike Lake Hotel, Enugu, over our agitation for freedom from the hostile prison called Nigeria.
“Well-meaning and conscientious people all over the world expressed outrage and shock, wondering why in the world the US delegation is desperately avoiding the most credible names from our political space.
“The world over, fact finding teams usually seek out the most credible names in their search for the truth, not organisations that are well known to all and sundry as political jobbers and government errand boys like Ohanaeze which sole agenda today is only how to establish a self -serving relationship with the present government as they always do and have done with previous governments.
“IPOB maintains its position, that this visiting delegation ought to endeavour to meet and speak with credible names like Anyaoku, Nwabueze, Ekwueme, and co. That does not in any way translate to any of them suddenly becoming IPOB commander.
“Convinced that over 90 per cent of our people are standing with IPOB, we dare the Nigerian government to organise a referendum today to ascertain the authenticity of our demand to freedom. Our assertion that these and future visiting foreign delegations endeavour to meet with Ekwueme, Anyaoku and co, did not make them IPOB commanders.
“We also would wish them to meet with other credible opinion leaders from the clergy, traditional rulers, town union leaders, and even students’ unions.
“Arranging them discreetly (visiting delegations) to meet with Ohanaeze and scurry away the next day is suspicious, more importantly, hiding their visit from IPOB whose agitation led to their visit in the first place. “This clarification became necessary because we learnt from these great men that some journalists were sending them emails asking them whether it was true that they had been appointed IPOB commanders. We are aware of the activities of enemies of equity, justice and fairness but they will never win.”