•Ex-soldier cautions on violence
From Jeff Agbodo, Onitsha, Okey Sampson, Aba, Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan and Romaus Okoye
A crack yesterday occurred in the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a faction threatened to burn the Biafra flag which the group promised to display on October 1, this year.
This is even as seven members of the group were arrested and detained briefly for allegedly meeting in a building in Aba, Abia State yesterday. Also, an ex-Biafran soldier cautioned IPOB to pursue the agitation for Biafra republic peacefully.
The breakaway group denounced IPOB and threatened to burn the flag.
“We believe in being a part of a united Nigeria, and a new way of thinking, a statement issued by Chima “Phillip Effiong”, Osuji said.
“The lessons and history of the civil war will only reinforce the belief in ourselves to reach the zenith in this great country, Nigeria, where opportunities abound for every one regardless of tribe or religion, and even where such narrow sentiments exist, we will not see ourselves as victims. Never!”
According to the statement, the new group known as the Rebranded Indigenous People of Biafra (TRIPOB), the decision was taken on Monday at the end of an emergency meeting of “disaffected” IPOB members.
The group said that it had accepted the fact that the Biafra Republic was not a reality but an anachronism, and doubts that the south-south region will ever become a part of a Biafra Republic, except by force after a declaration of another civil war.
Meanwhile, 7 IPOB members who were arrested by the police in Aba, Abia State have regained their freedom. The men were meeting at an undisclosed location along Osusu Road, Over Rail in the commercial city yesterday, when police stormed the place and arrested seven of them.
According to a source, those arrested protested to the police that their meeting was not illegal as they did not engage in acts that disrupted public peace.
Meanwhile, the IPOB yesterday advised the House of Representatives Committee on Army to invite the Coordinator of IPOB, Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe in their fact-finding mission of what happened on May 30, this year when many members were allegedly killed by security agents during Biafran Day anniversary.
The group said no member of MASSOB was killed during the celebration as reported in some papers, noting that it was only IPOB that organized the remembrance of fallen heroes over the years and had never celebrated it with any other pro-Biafra organisation.
A statement by the spokespersons of IPOB, Mr. Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, said any representation from IPOB to any panel that is not led by Chidiebere Onwudiwe is null and void and of no effect.
Also, an ex-Biafran soldier, Ogbuefi Ray Ifeme, who is the current Odogwo Abu Na Ezenifite, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, has cautioned IPOB and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) against violence that could lead to war in pressing home their demand.
In an interview with Daily Sun in Ibadan, he urged the agitators to embrace dialogue tenaciously, as he expressed optimism that one day their dream would come to reality.