Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, was solely formed to counter the progressive structure of Nigeria’s first President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in the build-up to the Second Republic election of 1979.
This came as Igbo communities in Chicago, the United States of America rose from its meeting with the Ala-Igbo Development Foundation, and insisted that the South East would not relent in its push for regional autonomy.
IPOB, in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, said total compliance of south easterners to its sit-at-home order, to mark the first anniversary of the military invasion of the Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State country home of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was a clear manifestation that the people had conferred on them the mandate as their authentic representatives in the region.
According to him, the events of September 14 were confirmation that the people have rejected their politics of acquiescence, servitude and slavery.
Contrary to public perception, he said Ohanaeze was not a creation of Igbo people but an assemblage of those he described as high profile traitors during the war, with the exception of Dr. Akanu Ibiam.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo was formed in 1976 to destabilise the progressives established order under the leadership of Dr. Azikiwe in the run up to 1979 democratic rule.
“The few surviving founding members of Ohanaeze will attest to this undisputed fact.
“To weaken the post-war cohesion that still existed among the people of the East, the Fulani caliphate gathered their Igbo agents together to destroy the East from within.
“With what Ohanaeze has become in recent times, there is little doubt that our oppressors succeeded in holding us down through their agents in Ohanaeze and governors’ lodges,” IPOB stated.
Media Assistant to Chief Nnia Nwodo, Ohanaeze President General, Chief Emeka Attamah has severally insisted that the body is not in a popularity contest with IPOB.
Meanwhile, in a communiqué signed by Chairman, Committee of Conveners, Chief Eddie Nwosu, after a forum of Igbo communities met in Chicago, participants called on “UmuIgbo to align the Igbo struggle to establish the Igbo nation, either as an autonomous region in the new Federal Union, or, as an independent republic if the first option is rejected by the forces of hegemony in Nigeria.”
Aside demanding the release of the IPOB leader, Kanu, the forum also said “Alaigbo must not compromise her right of free association with her neighbours, either in a Federal Union of Nigeria or Biafra based on the principle of self- determination and the right to opt out of such union if we so wish.”