From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri and Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Leadership of Biafra Independence Movement and Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (BIM MASSOB) have condemned alleged attack on its leader and founder, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike by Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The group said the attack by ESN, a security outfit by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), justifies its position that Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB, was not genuinely and firmly fighting for Biafra.
Uwazurike, in a video clip that went viral on social media, yesterday, alleged that “the IPOB leader sent unknown gunmen to assassinate me in my home last (Monday) night. He thought my security were like that of the Nigerian government he can over run any how and take their guns.”
A statement by Chris Mocha, on behalf of BIM-MASSOB, alleged that the reason Kanu sent members of ESN to attack and kill Uwazuruike was to provoke the group to resort to arms struggle. He warned perpetrators of violence to have a rethink, adding that taking up arms, killing people and burning military formations would not lead them anywhere, but rather endanger lives of Igbo youths.
However, Kanu, in his response said ESN was not set up for Biafrans, but terrorists and that Uwazurike made the allegation because he knew he was no longer relevant and needed such allegation to regain his popularity and relevace.
Speaking through his younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, the IPOB leader described Uwazurike as an inconsequential fellow he had no time for.
”What has a lion got to do with cockroach? Uwazurike is a Biafran, we don’t see him as an enemy, but if he is a terrorist, then he will be destroyed. But we don’t see him as a terrorist; so how would any sane IPOB/ESN member go after him? If Uwazurike has issues with politicians, he should go and settle it with them and leave IPOB/ESN alone.”
Kanu accused Uwazurike of not genuinely agitating for Biafra, but using it to feather his nest, adding that if the MASSOB founder was serious in what he was doing, the agitation for Biafra would have been a thing of the past.
On the accusation by Uwazurike that the IPOB leader was abroad and not in Nigeria to pursue the struggle for Biafra, Kanu said: “Let me quote the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘no freedom fighter stays in his home town, it is either he is in prison or operates from exile.’ So, as far as Uwazurike remains in Imo State where he built his mansion, of course, he should focus on his business and leave Mazi Nnamdi Kanu out of it.”