From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Pan-Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-political organisation, the Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND), has lambasted the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, for refusing to support Igbo presidency in 2023.
This is even as the group claimed that IPOB is being sponsored by those it referred to as Fifth Columnists to destroy the South East region.
IPOB Spokesman, Emma Powerful, had recently explained it position, noting that “all the people being prepared for the position are stooges that will be used against the interest of Ndigbo, Biafrans and the Biafra agitating groups.”
But, CSEPNND National Coordinator, Professor Madumare Chika and National Secretary, Anayo Uchemba, in a statement, Monday, regretted that many gullible sons and daughters of the South East extraction had been brainwashed by Kanu to believe that he was out to defend and protect the region.
To this end, they appealed to South-East governors to denounce and disassociate themselves from IPOB, Kanu, and be focused on producing the next president in 2023.
“The poorly circulated press release by a terrorist group under Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, published in some few national papers yesterday, expressing its refusal to support the agitation for Igbo presidency come 2023, has vindicated our stand that IPOB and its fugitive leader, Nnamdi Kanu, are anti-Igbo working with some enemies of Igbo nation to thwart its chance to produce the next president of Nigeria.
“Naturally, any group working for advancement of its people should be at the forefront of issues that would see to the realisation of their yearnings and aspirations.
“IPOB knows vividly well that the general feelings of the people of the South East is how the region can also be entrusted with Nigeria’s presidency. Ironically, this is not the case here with IPOB!
“So, one would be quick to ask what really is IPOB looking for? We believe strongly that no reasonable group should kick against the progress of its own people as IPOB is currently doing.
“We have earlier alerted our people that desperate politicians feeling threatened of the chances of Igbo to produce the president in 2023 were sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu, leader of outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra,IPOB, to scuttle the bid.
“The position of IPOB has obviously confirmed this. They are traitors hence we must rise up and end their activities in Igbo land now.
“At this point that almost every Nigerian is clamoring for Igbo presidency, the best thing for IPOB is to embrace the move and work to its realisation if actually it’s out to work for the betterment Igbo nation,” Professor Madumare said.
He added: “Like we said earlier, we reiterate here that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not working for the interest of Ndigbo,rather he is being bankrolled by a certain Nigerian politician who is contesting the 2023 presidential elections from the South against the Igbos.
“We are vindicated by this unpatriotic statement by IPOB, and we call on all Ndigbo around the World to distance themselves from Kanu and his terrorist group.
“Having realized that the general mood in the country now is for Igbo presidency in 2023, they are threatened and want to pick a cheap traitor from our region to thwart the bid. It must not fall for this.
“This is why we have always warned people on the character of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, that they are on a self- serving mission and not working for an Igbo agenda.
“Their aim is to portray the Igbo as enemies of Nigeria who do not deserve the presidency. The simple logic is that you can’t be fighting for the presidency of a country you do not believe in.
“This is the evil agenda these politicians are trying to sell to Nigerians using our own very son. We must never allow this evil plot to succeed. Kanu cannot trade the destinies of Igbos for his own personal comfort. It must be clear that Kanu does not love Ndigbo like he claims. Rather,he is our enemy.”
He concluded that: “As Igbo processionals, we wish to inform all that Kanu is alone in his cessation project and has no reasonable person behind him.
“Though our people are highly marginalized and deserve the right for agitation, but that must be done legally and by the appropriate people not a deviant young man like Nnamdi Kanu who is out for his selfish interest.
“We cannot be demanding for president of Nigeria on one hand and on the other hand, supporting IPOB and Kanu,being financed by desperate politicians to cause disaffection in our region.
“We believe in one united Nigeria where justice and fairness reigns. We have invested so much in the nation and would not be party to its destruction under any guise.
“From experience, cessation or separatist movements have never really solved the problems of nations. Rather, dialogue and engagements with all parties to address the underlying issues have often yielded positive results.”