*Thanks Imo residents over reception for Kanu in Owerri
*Miscreants have infiltrated our ranks —IPOB
By Chioma Gabriel, Vincent Ujumadu & Nwabueze Okonkwo
Awka—THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, accused the federal and Anambra State governments of recruiting those it described as uneducated individuals and students in the universities to infiltrate its ranks in order to label the organisation a violent group.
It also expressed gratitude to Imolites over the reception granted its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Owerri during his unscheduled visit to a friend over the weekend, where an estimated three to four million residents thronged the streets to welcome him.
Meantime, leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, has included opening of another Radio Biafra in Germany as part of activities lined up to mark the 18 years of the founding of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, which he said was formed September 13, 1999.
‘Miscreants have infiltrated our ranks’
IPOB was apparently reacting to Sunday’s incident at Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, where some youths dressed in IPOB uniform and waving Biafra flags tried to force themselves into St. Joseph’s Church in the town where Governor Willie Obiano was worshipping at the time.
In a statement, yesterday, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, accused government contractors of mobilising people who went to the Catholic church and harassed worshippers, alleging that the aim was to create room for security operatives to begin to arrest IPOB members in Ekwulobia and its environs.
The statement by Powerful read: “IPOB leaders and members are very intelligent people who cannot involve themselves in any act of violence. It is crystal clear to all and sundry that IPOB under Nnamdi Kanu remains non-violent in its pursuit for Biafra freedom and cannot change our method of peaceful approach towards the restoration of Biafra. The election boycott in Anambra, come November this year, remains, but cannot cause any violence.
“We are aware that some politicians and Nigeria security employed some uneducated individuals and groups in the society to harass the general public in the name of IPOB members. Some government contractors have printed IPOB T-shirts and Biafra flag with huge amount of money to be shared to the hungry youths to claim to be IPOB members under Nnamdi Kanu.
“We advise the general public to beware of fake IPOB members, who were paid by politicians to cause confusion in Anambra and states in Biafraland.”
Suspected IPOB members sighted in Awka
Meanwhile, several bus loads of suspected IPOB members were sighted in Awka, Sunday evening, as they headed towards Onitsha through the old Enugu-Onitsha road.
Comprising mainly people between the 20 – 25 age bracket, and chanting Biafra songs and displaying Biafra banners, they kept shouting to other motorists and passersby that there would be no election in Anambra State in November.
Many residents of Awka said they were part of the reinforcement that tried to disrupt Governor Obiano’s church service at Ekwulobia.
Thanks Imolites for reception given Kanu at Owerri
Emma Powerful in a statement also thanked Biafrans and IPOB members in Anambra, Rivers, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo states respectively for “the overwhelming and immeasurable welcome they gave to our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, during his visit to the respective states.
“We equally thank God Almighty (Chukwu Okike Abiama) for making the outings and visits a successful one without any hiccup or breakdown of law and order despite the provocations of Nigerian Army and Police in Ebonyi State.”
IPOB in its statement further stated that “since the inception of these private visits to various towns in Biafraland by our leader, we have not had any altercation, interruption or any act of misunderstanding with IPOB, the public and law enforcement agencies. At IPOB, we make it a point of duty to stream live videos across the world of our movements and events, to prevent our enemies from instigating trouble with which they can use to justify their illegal arrests and mass murder.”
Uwazuruike opens another Radio Biafra in Germany
In a statement to newsmen, yesterday, in Onitsha, Anambra State, signed by Biafra Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, Uwazuruike noted that the celebration proper of 18 years of MASSOB would take place in Onitsha, Anambra State on September 13.
He noted that other activities lined up for the 18 years of non-violence and non-exodus by MASSOB would also feature the official opening of Voice of Biafra International, VOBI, radio located in Germany, which would lead to the radio commencing broadcast on short wave (SW) band, this week.
The statement further quoted Uwazuruike as saying that the radio station would be the “authentic voice of the Biafran people and always educate, inform and enlighten our people on the issue of Biafra and not to spread hate messages or blackmail.”
The statement maintained that “BIM would continue to play a leading role in our quest for Biafra”, assuring Ndigbo that it is only non-violence that will lead them to Biafra independence without firing a gunshot.
On Anambra State governorship election fixed for November 18, the statement added that its members would suffocate Anambra as the Ijele Ndigbo, Uwazuruike and BIM will visit Onitsha in solidarity with Chief Willie Obiano to tell him and Ndi-Anambra that the election must hold on November 18 as planned.