The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has thrown its support behind the declaration by the Niger Delta Avengers’ plan to break away from the country on October 1.
The group said it is backing the decision of the Avengers because they share the same ideals. It however stated, that it had no link with the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
According to The Nation, the spokesperson of the group, Emma Powerful, said: “We have nothing to do with MEND, but our philosophy aligns with that of Niger Delta Avengers who bravely called for the release of our leader and has maintained it till date. Avengers and IPOB are one in pursuit of freedom for all the peoples of Biafra. IPOB is in total support of the proposed independence declaration proposed by Avengers on the 1st of October.
“IPOB recognises the efforts of the reformed MASSOB as they have publicly stated that they are no longer working with the now discredited leadership of BIM and former MASSOB. As long as they maintain this stance and do not engage in activities capable of undermining the pursuit for freedom, we shall continue to acknowledge their efforts. Some so-called Igbo leaders are mere Hausa Fulani stooges and will kill their own children if the North demands it. Thankfully, we still have honorable Igbo men left.”
He asserted that the group would not soft pedal in spite of the continued detention of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“IPOB is not in the business of soft-pedalling like previous groups that may have given the impression they were campaigning for our freedom when all they were after was settlement. At the end of this battle for freedom, the world will know that there are those who cannot be bought nor compromised like Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB that he leads.
“We want, first and foremost, the release of our leader and other detained members of IPOB after which he would direct us on how to negotiate terms of reference for a referendum which we launched a while back. Nobody will be forced or coerced. We want to build a model society based on the consent of the people not one imposed by a few group of people.”
The group also explained why two lawyers who represented them were sacked.
“The lawyers spoke out of turn and have been duly sanctioned. We suspect that some elements within the executive of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Governor Rochas Okorocha were behind it. IPOB under instruction from our leader has only three official outlets through which its mind or views can be expressed and these are first his wife, IPOB spokespersons and announcement on Radio Biafra. Apart from these three, no one can claim to represent or speak the mind of our leader. Individuals are allowed to speak their minds but they cannot say they are doing so for our leader without his explicit consent.”
The factional leader of MASSOB, Uche Madu also joined the call for the release of the IPOB leader, saying: “MASSOB does not see Mazi Nnamdi kanu as one who can betray his belief for Biafra. He is not a sellout, his ideologies about Biafra may differ, he can never betray hundreds of Biafrans that died recently for the course of Biafra. We shall continue to press for the release of Biafra detainees including the ultimate aim of Biafra actualization with non violence. Nigeria will soon experience another dimension of non violence struggle that will marvel them.”