The leadership of apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has thrown its weight behind the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) insisting that the group is not a terrorist organisation but campaigners for equity, justice, and good governance.
Ohanaeze made the clarification yesterday in response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s call on international partners, including the United States and Britain to treat IPOB as a terrorist organisation and, as such “block from the international financial networks”.
The call according to the organisation was made by President Buhari during his recent interview Bloomberg.
The IPOB, according to the national publicity secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chiedozie Ogbonna, is a creation of injustice, and alienation of the South East geo-political zone in the affairs of the country by the current All Progressives Congress-led federal government administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ohaneze stated that the IPOB was simply re-echoing the earlier advice handed to President Buhari by the late elder statesman, diplomat, Alh. Maitama Sule when he visited the former shortly after he was inaugurated President after the 2015 general election and he was advised to “extend justice to all and sundry, irrespective of religion or tribe”.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftain in a statement made available to our correspondent said, “Alhaji Maitama Sule of blessed memory in congratulating Mr. President (Muhammadu Buhari) admonished that justice is key to good governance; that Mr. President should extend justice to all and sundry, irrespective of religion and tribe.
“Sule reminded Mr President that an infidel with good conscience and equity can govern successfully, far better than a believer devoid of sense of justice.”
He continued, “Sule added that the solution to Nigeria´s problems can never be achieved by force, nor by fear, nor by power but by equity and justice to all” warning that “in the absence of justice and equity there can never be peace and development”.
Chief Ogbannia stated that the South East had been sidelined from the major power structure of the country pointing out that appointment into the following critical power structures of the country had been made lopsidedly against the zone: Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security, DSS, National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Customs Service, etc.
He noted that it was such above treatment meted out to the people of the South East zone that had forced the members of IPOB to agitate for a separate Biafra as a country.
He also stated that the manner foreigners had invaded South East, killing, raping, kidnapping, and terrorising the people of the area without the federal government mustering the needed powers to contain their activities was also the reason for IPOB activities.