…Says truth is a more potent weapon than AK47, mortars, bombs
By Enyeribe Ejiogu (Lagos) and Jeff Amechi Agbodo (Onitsha)
Notwithstanding the quit notice given by a coalition of Arewa youths to Ndigbo to leave the north, which has been generating heat in the polity and making some people to speculate that a shooting war might break out in the country, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has said that war is not imminent because the group never intended to achieve the restoration of Biafra through the battle field.
The group restated its belief that truth is a more potent weapon than guns, mortars and bombs, which the Nigerian government has been stockpiling in alleged readiness to shed Igbo blood as happened in the three-year civil war that started in 1967 and ended in 1970, with the surrender of the Biafran enclave.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, who disclosed this to Sunday Sun in a Whatsapp message reiterated that its leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, has been resolute in preaching peace all along.
Elaborating on this, he said: “That weapon is the simple truth which our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been preaching all along without fear or favour. Anybody waiting for us to engage in any war is wasting their time because Nigeria has already collapsed under the burden of incompetence, greed, corruption and institutional laziness.”
Heart beats increased across the country when on June 6, 2017, a coalition of 16 northern youth groups under the aegis of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum met at the Arewa House in Kaduna, Kaduna State capital and issued an ultimatum to Igbo in the 19 northern states to quit the zone on or before October 1, this year.
The ultimatum was a reaction to the huge success of the sit-at-home protest held on May 30, which was called by IPOB, to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Biafra and to commemorate the millions of Igbo people who perished in the Nigeria civil war. Near 100 per cent is said to have shocked the country and the north particularly.
Expectedly, the Quit North order sent shockwaves across the nation and raised tension that could lead to another civil war in the country if the emerging situation was not properly managed and the drumbeats of war that had started to sound were not silenced.
In quick reaction, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, issued a strongly worded statement condemning the ultimatum and ordering the police to hunt down, arrest and prosecute the signatories who signed the communiqués in which the ultimatum was issued.
Similarly, the Northern Governors Forum excoriated the Arewa youths for the ultimatum though Prof Ango Abdullahi, former vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University and spokesman of Northern Elders Forum threw his weight behind the call made by the youths.
Both chambers of the National Assembly, in plenary also condemned the quit order even as the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has been holding meetings with leaders, elders and traditional rulers in the north and the south east with a view to dousing the tension unleashed by the pronouncement of the Arewa youths. In the same vein, Governor El-Rufai has held meetings with leaders of the Igbo communities spread across the 19 northern states even as the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has reaffirmed the commitment of Ndigbo to the indivisibility of the Nigerian nation while stressing its unflinching endorsement for restructuring of the country, noting that support for this is growing with the motive force of a tsunami.
However, IPOB described people clamouring for one Nigeria as criminals and lazy ones who do nothing else apart from depending on crude oil revenue.
“So, those clamouring for one Nigeria are the criminal class and those too lazy to do anything else apart from depending on crude oil money coming from Biafraland. One Nigeria encourages laziness and criminality. Biafra will bring an end to all that,” Powerful said.