By Willy Eya and David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
DEPUTY Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Indigenous People of Biafra (SCIPOB) and former president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife has queried the right of anybody to stop him from speaking his mind.
Ikedife was reacting to a statement credited to Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful that Mr Nnamdi Kanu had in 2014 dissolved SC IPOB because he was campaigning for the All Progressives Congress (APC)
The elder statesman wondered how Kanu, whom he said was only in charge of a radio station, would have the right to dissolve the SCIPOB, a situation he described as comical.
“What pained me was people who did not read the interview were commenting, people who did not understand it and those who only heard about the interview were also commenting.
While explaining that he never claimed to be the leader of any group be it IPOB, MASSOB or any other pro-Biafra or self-determination group, Ikedife said the SCIPOB is a college of leadership.
According to him, the leadership of SCIPOB did not revolve around one person or led by a single person and clarified that it is made up of people who are responsible, elderly and careful who are looking at the issue of self-determination with passion and with reference to the stance of the United Nations, African Union and Nigerian government by extension.
He insisted that the SCIPOB strongly believes in the rule of law and diplomatic channels with obedience to the tradition and constituted authorities devoid of lawlessness.
“SCIPOB is not dissolved. To say that I was campaigning for the APC is also a ridiculous statement. I do not belong to any political party and I do not intend to belong to any.
“At my age, I prefer to remain an elder statesman. I do not campaign for any political party. That is left for the younger ones. I will only speak out according to how I feel and speaking the truth as an elder.
He said it was unfortunate that since after the civil war, respect for elders by the younger ones has continued to degenerate.
Ikedife noted that in Igboland, because of what he called tendency to republicanism, each person gets up and says whatever comes to his mouth. This he said showed the level of decay of customs and tradition in Igboland.
Meanwhile, founding editorial board member of Radio Biafra, Dr. Chukwuma Egemba has debunked media reports of an internal crisis in the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In a statement, Egemba, who is also a co-founder of IPOB, said the headline and content of the story were absolutely wrong, confusing and misleading.
He clarified that there is no crisis in IPOB and that Dr Ikedife was correct in all he said in his interview reported in the media.
Dr Egemba said Ikedife did not claim to be the leader of IPOB and explained that the leadership of the organisation is collegiate in keeping with the collective leadership of Igbo and Biafra people.