From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Imo State Government has described as despicable, the conduct of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for embarrassing Governor Rochas Okorocha when he delivered a lecture on Human Capacity Development at the Chatham House in London on Wednesday.
The state government said IPOB’s action was not only embarrassing to Okorocha as an Igbo leader, but, also, to Ndigbo, both at home and in the Diaspora.
A statement by Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo alleged IPOB acted the way it did at Chatham House because “Okorocha has not supported their actions or the actions of any other pro-Biafra group.
“That was their only reason for throwing caution to the wind and invading the Chatham House to disrupt such a wonderful outing by a bonafide leader and son of Igboland.
“As a government, we commend the high level of maturity which the governor and few of the senior government officials, who accompanied him, had exhibited in the face of such unprovoked and ill-advised action of the IPOB members at Chatham House”.
“It is even worrisome that members of a group like IPOB that have always given the impression that they are fighting for the cause of Igbo would decide to storm the Chatham House to cause trouble at an event one of the best in Igbo land was invited to deliver a speech on the way forward for our society.
Meanwhile, IPOB, yesterday, stated categorically that former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyoku, former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, renowned jurist, Prof Ben Nwabueze, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo and Gen. Alex Maduebo are not their members.
The pro-Biafra group said they were only nominated “due to their impeccable character and pedigree to negotiate for Ndigbo.”
A statement signed by spokespersons of IPOB, Barr. Emma Mmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, said their appointments to represent the group in discussing issues concerning the release of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, among others, was based on the activities of some political jobbers and contractors, who parade themselves as leaders of Ndigbo and have no interest of Biafra’s self-determination at heart.
“This is not so, hence, this clarification. Three weeks ago, the US Consular General visited the South east on a fact-finding mission.
“Surprisingly, he met only with the APC executive in Enugu and predatory elements of moribund Ohanaeze where road construction, second Niger Bridge, appointment for more Ndigbo into Buhari’s cabinet, etc were presented to the US delegation as the reason for our agitation for freedom. Well-meaning and conscientious people all over the world expressed outrage and shock, wondering why in the world these US delegation were desperately avoiding the most credible people from our political space…”
The statement read further: “All over the world, fact finding teams usually seek the opinion of 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, whose sole agenda today is only how to establish a self-serving relationship with the present government…”
“IPOB maintains our position, that the visiting delegation ought to endeavour to meet and speak with credible names like Anyaoku, Nwabueze, Ekwueme, and others.
“That does not in any way translate to any of them suddenly becoming IPOB commander as mischievously rumoured.”