•Region to hold confab on Igbo future

From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki, Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka and Okey Sampson, Aba

Governors of the five states in the South East will soon meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, on Biafra agitations in the region.

Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, disclosed this during the 2017 Ebonyi Peace Day celebration at Ezillo, in Ishielu Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.

“I was able to hold a private discussion with our dear president. We have discussed all issues of agitations and Mr. President is going to further the discussions with South East governors. And, I want to assure our people that all our concerns will be addressed, under peace, with our President. And Mr. President sends his regards to Igbo people.”

Umahi added that he was shocked by the President’s humility when he listened attentively and gave him a dose of humour during the discussion, in New York.

“…Mr. President listens. I was also shocked by the level of Mr. President’s humorous attitude. I said ‘sir, you have a very good heart.’ This was because, in the course of our discussion, he said something. He said it doesn’t matter what people say about you; that what matters is God that sent you. And when God sends you, you should do justice to all and leave the rest to God.

“So, it doesn’t matter how we feel. What matters is that we must use dialogue, peaceful approach, prayers, commitment and love, to get to where we want to be. And, before now, we were noted for hard work. We must go back to it. We must go back to loving ourselves,” Umahi said.

At another forum, Umahi said he would, next week, lead his colleagues in the South-East and other stakeholders in Igboland, to the 2017 National Conference of the Igbo Christian Restoration Assembly (ICRA).

The conference, organised by all Christians in the zone, would not be an all prayer affairs as it would also feature a special session on the future of Igboland.

Briefing newsmen on the conference that would take place at Emmaus House, Awka, Secretary of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of ICRA, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu confirmed attendance of the five South East governors to the three-day event, which would see the people pray fervently and commit the zone to God, to, among other things, quell youth restiveness in the area.

Anigbogu also said former ministers of Power and Education, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, respectively, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Prof. Ben Osisioma, Rev William Okoye and Mr. Sam Ohuabunwa would be among prominent Igbo sons and daughters who would speak at the event.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has commended Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and former Aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode for their “revolutionary and resilient condemnation of the proscription” of the group.

A statement by the group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, said “Fayose has been steadfast and courageous in this struggle; he is a motivator for IPOB. Fayose is loved by the IPOB and Igbo. We commend his solidarity and concern.

“Fani-Kayode, on his part, has demonstrated passionate love for the Igbo and IPOB. He gives his undiluted voice to the oppressed people of South East who are seeking for self determination. He became a close friend to Nnamdi Kanu during their incarceration at Kuje Prison and since then, he has identified with aspirations of our leader.”

IPOB in the statement said they equally appreciated favourable reactions from the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, OPC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Femi Falana, and Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and added that it is “uncommon chemistry of solidarity and love.”

Why IPOB is terrorist group -Minister 

From Aidoghe Paulinus, New York

Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali, has given reasons why the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was registered as a terrorist group.

The Defence Minister spoke exclusively with Daily Sun, on a courtesy call on the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, in New York, the United States of America, Prof Tijjani Bande.

“There are many indices that make a group terrorist. One of them that has been mentioned in the country is that any group that is fond of making hate speeches, making provocative statements, becoming a security challenge to the country, then that group has to be registered as a terrorist group,” Dan-Ali said.

He also spoke on IPOB’s call for support from the international community, and said the international community cannot determine the nation’s internal security problem.

He further added that the international community needed to look at what was going on in the country and know what IPOB is doing.

Speaking earlier, Bande thanked Dan-Ali for the visit, and said a lot of important persons come around, but are hardly seen in the Mission.  He said the fact that the minister created time to visit the Permanent Mission was something extremely important to the Mission. 

Meanwhile, a US-based IPOB leader, Candy Stallworth, seems to have abandoned the Biafran struggle.

Stallworth who is IPOB’s mobilisation leader in the US, lamented over the fortunes of the group via her Facebook page, on Monday, September 25, 2017.

She wrote: “Attention, Trump, U.N, America, this is the mentality of the overseers of Biafrans, look how they attack me a Christian and American.

“Now I know why you stay silent! I feel for Biafrans who are not heartless; only God can help you now!” Stallworth has been facing criticisms from IPOB members who feel that she has abandoned their cause.

Her Facebook page was filled with insults from the group members, many of whom accused her of deceiving them.