A Coalition of South East pressure groups has condemned the recent threat by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to governors of the region for opposing the formation of a militia outfit, Eastern Security Network, by the separatist leader.
The Coalition hailed the governors for what it described as their show of patriotism “by not only openly denouncing Kanu’s actions but also calling on the people of the region not to be gullible and fall prey to his antics”, which they noted were not for the good of the region.
IPOB had warned southeast governors not to work against the Eastern Security Network as it accused the governors of a plot to incite the Army and other security agencies against the outfit.
It asked the governors to steer clear of such plan or be prepared to face dire consequences, just as it warned local vigilantes in the zone set up by state governors not to allow themselves to be used to carry out what it called “evil agenda or have themselves to blame”.
But reacting to IPOB’s threat, the groups operating under the auspices of Coalition of Igbo Groups Worldwide, tasked the region’s governors not to succumb to Kanu’s threat, insisting that they must go all out against Kanu and IPOB’s activities which they noted, were “illegal to the law of the land and humanity”.
Besides, the coalition urged the southeast governors to make laws that were beneficial to the citizens of the region, advising that “they must not allow Kanu have any ample opportunity of operating alternate leadership”, which according to them was inimical to the peace and development of the South East and Nigeria.
The Coalition, in a statement, Wednesday, signed by its affiliate members, described the IPOB leader as a fugitive who “was being bankrolled by some self-seeking interests to destroy the southeast”.
It warned that unless Kanu’s activities were wholeheartedly denounced by the leadership and all well-meaning Igbo, the region’s quest to actualise its dream of Nigeria’s Presidency in 2023 will meet strong opposition.
Among the groups were South East Mothers Forum, represented by Mrs Achike Ezeife as Coordinator; Ndigbo Progressive Youth Vanguard which had Barr. Uche Ude also as coordinator; Igbo Unity Congress with Mazi Osigwe; South East Market Women Vanguard, represented by Deaconess Grace Ejike and the South East Youth Network, which had Pastor Andy Okoro as signatory, respectively.
According to the Coalition Kanu’s decision to pilot the group from a remote area outside the shores of Nigeria was an indication that there were sinister motives to his actions, tasking the people of the region, especially youths not to fall for what he is doing.
According to the statement, “we wish to strongly condemn Nnamdi Kalu’s threat to the South East governors and local vigilantes following the governors’ opposition to his illegal activities in the region among which is his formation of a militia group to disturb the peace of our region.
“We call on our governors who are elected by the people to represent them not to be intimidated by Kanu’s threat. They should go all out against him by exposing him for what he is, for the betterment, peace and unity of Igbo land. The South East governors should not relent in enforcing law and order in their various states for the good of their people”.
It continued that, “it is not in the place of Kanu and IPOB to institute laws for the people of the South East but the functions of governors of the region who were elected constitutionally by their people to act in that regard. So, we throw our weights behind the South East governors and all well-meaning citizens of South East who are standing for national unity.
“Kanu and his team do not mean well for Ndigbo. From all indications, it can be glaringly seen that his actions are for his personal benefits and not for the generality of Ndigbo as he tries desperately to portray.”
“Let us also humbly state that the Igbos have practically demonstrated that they believe in one Nigeria than any tribe because they can be found in almost every part of this nation in large numbers with investments worth billions of Naira adding value to their host communities,” it added.
“Nnamdi Kanu cannot speak or act on our behalf in this nation or anywhere for that matter. Let him come home and present himself to the people for election if he wants to speak for us. That is the only constitutional means of representation in Nigeria where the South East is a part. Anything outside this means is unacceptable to us”, the group stated.
“We reiterate that our governors must remain resolute in their determination to enthrone laws that are beneficial to the citizens of our region.
“We task them to continue to engage the youths on the need to eschew actions that would depict us as working for the destruction of a united and indivisible Nigeria.
“The clarion calls by different sections of the country that our region deserves a chance in the 2023 Presidency should not be taken for granted. For this to be actualised, we must work hard with different parts of the country for it.”