ABOUT 52 groups from the South-East and South-South part of Nigeria have threatened to merge with the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), if the detained Leader of IPOB and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, is not released unconditionally.
Rising from their meeting in Enugu at the weekend, the coalition group urged the Federal Government to obey the High Court high ruling of December 2015, ordering the release of Kanu from prison custody.
The group which met in Enugu, under the chairmanship of Bishop Michael Ibeneme, at the residence of Chief (Mrs) Maria Okwor, stated that they were not happy with continued incarceration of the IPOB leader.The group which is comprised of Christian religious bodies, students associations, town unions, age grades, traders associations, women’s groups, youth organisations and Igbo elders said that the government at the centre “is steadily making it difficult for the country to remain one, through its brazen, oppressive and determined effort to strike fear into the hearts of citizens in order to foist a fascist reign of ethnic, regional and religious dominance of one region over another, and vowed to resist such unholy agenda”
“Capitulation to the agenda would mean sentencing our progeny to a permanent status of serfs, everything is being done to rub in that we are not part of Nigeria. Buhari is deliberately pushing us out of Nigeria.”The meeting which also had in attendance over a dozen groups from the Niger Delta insisted that the delay to redesign Nigeria to six regions is the source of 99% of the problems afflicting the nation today.In a two point communique, the groups declared that six regional structure remains the only formula to salvage, and rebuild Nigeria, noting that those opposed to six regional structure were only working towards the eventual disintegration of the country.
They said that all political, economic and social indicators pointed to the self-evident truth that only an early reversal to the six-regional structure will save the country now.“We are giving notice to the world, that if the unjust, provocative and very divisive detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not specially looked into for the sake of peace, equity and justice, we may no longer restrain our members, affiliates, friends and sisters groups who have indicated their resolve to join and merge with the IPOB in solidarity with their persecution and unjust detention of their leader.
“Pursuit of self-determination is the inalienable right of all oppressed people the world over as endorsed by the United Nations Chatter on freedom.“We are being forced and pressured by the uncompromising attitude of the oppressor to defend and protect the future of our progeny. The current master/servant relationship as typified by the unworkable, military constitution is suffocating us. Enough is Enough”.Speaking to reporters after the meetings, Comrade Chimezie Ubani, President of Igbo Student Union said: “We pleaded for restructure they refused, we pleaded for a referendum they said no, they treat us like slaves, Fulani herdsmen raping our women, killing our farmers, abducting our priests, all the 54 tertiary institution in the east have resolved to join the IPOB to turn it to the largest mass movement in the world.
“We have come to the point where Mr President must know that he just cannot continue detaining an innocent man. We have already printed our ID Cards, from now henceforth we are all IPOB”.“Lady Ifeoma Nwankwo, chairperson of the Onitsha Fish Dealers Association complained “631 IPOB member’s has been slaughtered by the Federal Government this year alone, some kidnapped in hospitals and killed, it is unacceptable.
“Mazi Chidiebere Onwudiwe was kidnapped by the DSS in June, with a laughable allegation of planning to bomb churches and computer village heaped on him by the DSS, for 4 months they have held him incommunicado without charging him to court. what do you call this if not fascism. A mixture of Hitler and Idi Amin in the making. Subjugation through reign of terror. We are all IPOB henceforth.”“Chief Chris Obikwelu, Chairman of Igbo Traders Association, said “if Kanu is not released this month, every trader will now go about with IPOB ID Cards, its one year now since they locked up an innocent man, they are indirectly telling us that we are nothing, that we are inconsequential, that they can treat us any how they like, we are tired of the oppression”.Bishop Ibeneme, who chaired the meeting, said, “Every effort to resolve the structural defects if this country is being rebuffed by people who love to ride on the back of others, people whose world view is that of subjugating others to slavery and eternal domination.
“They are pushing us to the wall, they are doing all they can to provoke us to action. We call on Mr President to release Nnamdi Kanu and reduce the anger and bitterness in the land. Those advising otherwise do not wish him well”.Also speaking, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) and Deputy Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought, said: “This is our third meeting and I can tell you, there is a pervasive feeling that Abuja might not fully be aware of the anger in the land. It is possible, those around the seat of power are lying to Mr President, possibly in the hope of shielding the truth from him. If he knew the degree of bitterness in the hearts of millions of citizens, he would have released Nnamdi Kanu long ago.