The apex Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against carrying out its threat to disrupt the planned summit on restructuring by the umbrella socio-cultural organisation.
The Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr Uche Okwukwu, who gave the warning in an interview with Saturday Sun called on IPOB to exercise restraint in disrupting the event that is of great importance to Nigerians in general and Ndigbo in particular.
Speaking on the threat, the Ohanaeze scribe said that IPOB should be aware that there is freedom of assembly and speech in the country and cautioned that there is punishment for anybody who violates the law.
He said: “If they are planning to disrupt the summit, I advise them to restrain from disrupting an event that would be of interest to the greater percentage of Nigerians and Ndigbo in particular. They cannot violate the law and expect not to be punished.
“Ohanaeze has done everything in the past to defend the interest of members and IPOB as an institution. I strongly believe that their purported plot is not that of IPOB but discredited elements within the society who may want to use the name of IPOB to consummate or realise some mischiefs.”
Despite its apology and regrets for disrupting the Eastern Consultative Assembly(ECA), meeting of Igbo leaders in Enugu recently, IPOB has again threatened to disrupt any meeting of Ohanaeze Ndigbo meant to discuss restructuring of Nigeria, or 2019 election, insisting that its struggle for an independent Biafra is non-negotiable.
Its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said it was not interested in restructuring, Igbo presidency or election in Nigeria, insisting that “the era of selling the collective interest of the masses to the highest bidder has come to an end.
“All we want is referendum, not restructuring; we want Biafra not Nigeria. We have buried too many people, we have lost too many souls, we are pained by the innocent who are still languishing in illegal detention all over Nigeria and we are enraged by the betrayal of those we call socio-political leaders. Only the total restoration of Biafra will suffice, anything else is mere waste of time.
“We read with disdain the statement credited to an Ohanaeze Ndigbo spokesperson regarding the incident that took place at the Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, event in Enugu recently. What happened at the said event will be nothing compared to what shall become of Ohanaeze Ndigbo should they attempt to convene any public meeting anywhere in Biafra land to discuss restructuring or how to keep Nigeria one.”