By Blossom OKIEMUTE CHUKWU
IPOB, The South-East Governors Forum recently declared an open opposition against the secessionist groups in the region, notably the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB).
They also threatened to launch counter-secessionist groups, in a bid to stand up more to the IPOB.
Though this is seen as a welcome development from the South-East Governors, most analysts are of the opinion that the Governors have not done enough to daily reduce the influence of this group that has been advocating for the region’s supposed ethnic agenda of segregation.
As a confirmation to the school of thought that the South-East Governors need to do more to wipe off secessionist influences, the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has ‘boldly’ said the Governors of the South-East geopolitical zone and the elites in the region will not be allowed to decide the fate of the Igbos.
The group also noted that alleged plans by Governors of the zone to launch counter-secessionist groups, was dead on arrival, claiming that the people have lost confidence in them, The Trumpet gathered.
The secessionist group reacted to the statement credited to the Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, who said leaders of the zone were more comfortable sticking with Nigeria than moving with Biafra.
The Governor had also said counter-secessionist groups would arise if IPOB did not stop killings in the zone. Meanwhile, IPOB, in a statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, on Thursday October 7, 2021, lashed out at the Governors in this regard, emphasising the point that the Governors will not be allowed to decide the fate of the Igbos.
Meanwhile, current Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has directed the people of the state to observe a one-day prayer to counter what he called the “evil” effect of the Mondays sitat-home order in the State.
The governor, who gave the order on Saturday April 2, said the prayer session will work against the activities of the gunmen terrorising the state and the South-East region.
As he said the prayer session would hold on Monday, April 4, 2022, in churches and other religious worship centres across the state, he spoke at a stakeholders’ peace meeting with security chiefs, traditional and religious leaders, in Awka, the state capital.
The sit-at-home orders has therefore become a major issue that can no longer be ignored in the state and region at large. This is because the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), from July 30, 2021, has continued to order sitat-home in the region. It has also threatened to shut down economic activities in the region, adding that violators of the order would be visited with violence. It is on record that he sit-at-home order was originally engineered to protest against the arrest and detention of IPOB’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
However, after a while it scrapped the directive in the South-East region, saying the development was to embrace peaceful negotiations. Despite the suspension, majority of South-East residents still observe the order, shunning businesses and commercial activities.
The sit-at-home development has really taken a toll on the region’s economy as banks, shops and other organisations remained shut on Mondays over the fear of attack. As the Trumpet newspaper gathered, Governor Soludo ordered all public servants in Anambra State to always report to work on Mondays, like every other weekday. Meanwhile, on Saturday April 2, Soludo asked the Nigerian government to handle the trial of Nnamdi Kanu with speed or release him from detention. With this declaration, the point here remains that if Nnamdi Kanu is guilty as charged, the call from Governor Soludo should not be for the speedy release of Nnamdi Kanu, but that his case should be decided as fast as possible, to prevent societal negative elements from taking advantage of his trial to inflict more pain on the society.
This is just like what the IPOB is turning itself to. The question then is, if the IPOB and other like groups have been put where they ought to be in society, will they have the boldness to openly lash out at the Governors the way they have done?
Will they have the political will to ask people to sit-at-home repeatedly and people will obey their orders in an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear?
This is why it is pertinent for the South-East government and the federal government to do much more, in order to bring these questionable characters to book. This they can achieve by: A massive re-orientation that will should sweep through the region, making the people understand that the solution to their challenges does not lie in the creation of another state called Biafra, and helping the people walk in the light of a greater nation as they all contribute their quota to nation building.
Just like the Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has earlier said, there is no profit for the Igbos in aiming for Biafra, rather than working for a better representation in the Nigerian national circle.
Though Nigerians have misappropriated opportunities in government and different sectors of service, if IPOB’s ultimate goal is truly the general good of all, even as they work for the good of their immediate communities, then, it is time for them to sheathe their swords and move forward in the true quest for justice and equity.
This definitely is far more honourable, than looking for opportunities to bring the nation down both internally and internationally. It is time to be more honourable.