President Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday cancelled his proposed visit to Enugu, capital of Enugu state for the South East Economic and Security Summit.
In a statement signed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) spokesmen, Barrister Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, IPOB threatened Buhari not to come to the political capital of the former Eastern region.
However, the presidency said President Muhammadu Buhari avoided the South-East Economic and Security Summit in Enugu, following a request from the organisers.
In a state house press release made available to Elombah.com Buhari’s spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu said “the President was presented with a request to attend the Economic and Security Summit by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and the President happily accepted.”
He then explained that “the visit to Enugu was scheduled for Thursday 22nd as can be found on the weekly programme. After this was done, some other stakeholders from the South East came and advised him to not go in view of the closeness of the date to Christmas; that given the sensitivity of the period to the people, a presidential visit may come with overexertion and possibly, be disruptive of Christmas.
“In view of this, President Buhari requested that the event be pushed forward to January, 2017. Given his nature, he did not insist. He said if the change of date is not possible, then the event can go on without him. That is what the organizers chose to do.”
Earlier that day, the planned visit by President Buhari alongside former president Olusegun Obasanjo sparked heavy protest in the state.
This is not the first time President Buhari will bow out of a scheduled visit as a result of threat by agitators.
Recall that Niger Delta Avengers had threatened him not to come to the region for the Ogoni clean-up exercise, an order he humbly obeyed.
The continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra has fueled the agitation for Biafra although the president has insisted that Nigeria will not break-up.
The group issued a statement threatening to stage a protest in the state to show their displeasure at the president’s visit.
“From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that Buhari is not welcome in Biafra land because his coming is tantamount to biting off our nose to spite our face.”
“Therefore, we warn Muhammadu Buhari to stay away from Biafra land to avoid unpleasant consequences on him and those inviting him. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” IPOB said.
See the Press Statement from IPOB made available to Elombah.com after the failed visit
WE SALUTE BRAVE BIAFRANS FOR CHASING AWAY MUHAMMADU BUHARI FROM BIAFRALAND
December 23, 2016
The leadership of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) salutes brave Biafrans who despite all odds chased away Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari from Enugu-Biafraland. We would like to remind all humanity that Muhammadu Buhari committed treason on December 31, 1983, when he overthrew the democratically elected government of President Alhaji Aliyu Usman Shehu Shagari. In addition to his involvement in the assassination of Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi and the mass-murder of over two million Biafrans at Owerri in 1968, Buhari has continually ordered the killing of Biafrans since he was awarded the presidency of Nigeria in 2015.
It was against this backdrop that Biafrans determined that Buhari is not welcome in Biafraland. Biafrans from all walks of life converged at Enugu to lay down their lives had Buhari come to Enugu with his gun-totting murderous security operatives. Understandably, Buhari heeded our warning and stayed back in Abuja. We salute the courage and determination of Biafrans despite threats, a few days earlier, from Buhari’s killer-squads and some internal enemies from Biafraland. The event of December 22nd, 2016 has once more demonstrated the fact that Biafrans are under one central command of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB. It has also shown that Biafrans are disciplined and non-violent in their approach to self-determination because no single incident was recorded.
As Biafrans were not attacked at the event by the murderous Nigerian security operatives, the entire world can see that there were peace and tranquility at Enugu and elsewhere in Biafraland. The question now becomes, why did Buhari order the Nigerian Army to attack and murder defenceless and law-abiding Biafrans at Aba, Nkpor, Igweocha (PortHarcourt) and Onitsha? Why would Buhari always resort to brute force in responding to people exercising their fundamental human rights? Is it because of his lack of formal secondary and tertiary education and non-existent leadership training?
The entire world must know that Muhammadu Buhari stayed away from Biafraland for fear of incurring the wrath of angry Biafrans who were ready to die with him if he had dared to step his feet in Biafraland. Any other concocted story on why Buhari cowardly stayed away is a figment of the imagination of those telling such stories. Already we are aware of certain politicians from Biafraland who stole their state blind and are supposed to be cooling their heels in EFCC gulag but are temporarily left off the hook because of the spoiler role and anti-Biafra propagandist activities they volunteered to undertake. These politicians are now advancing reasons why Buhari cowardly stayed away from Biafraland, but we know they are lying.
Given the bare-faced lies from these politicians, we wish to warn that misrepresentation of facts and outright lies is something IPOB is not comfortable with. Any politician or persons wishing to be regarded as serious intermediary in the quest to emancipate our people must be truthful at all times. Any attempt to spin information or play to the gallery will be met with instant repudiation and termination of that person’s involvement in the affairs of IPOB. Our leader is an uncompromising straight forward Biafran first and foremost. Any attempt to misrepresent his views or that of IPOB will be resisted. IPOB has created the enabling environment for politicians of different persuasions willing to repent from their old criminal past all across Biafraland to work together to salvage what is left of their tattered reputation.
Muhammadu Buhari must understand that the quest for the restoration of the nation of Biafra is unquenchable, unstoppable, and irreversible. We advise Buhari to toe the path of peace to engender a conducive environment that will restore the confidence of investors who are leaving Nigeria in droves on a daily basis since he became the ruler of the country. To achieve this, we demand as follows:
1) Buhari must release the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, along with other Biafran detainees. Other political detainees including Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky and Sambo Dasuki must also be released.
2) Buhari must announce a date for Biafrexit Referendum, and
3) Buhari must convene a public enquiry into the massacre of IPOB family members as documented by Amnesty International.
Without the above palliatives, restoring normalcy to Nigeria remains a pipe dream. We are bold to state that Nigeria is heading irreversibly in the direction of dismemberment which will be to the benefit of the three distinct nations of Arewa, Oduduwa, and Biafra that make up the country called
Nigeria. It is an undeniable fact that when the history of restructuring or disintegration is written about Nigeria, only three names will stand out namely; Radio Biafra, IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu.
Once more, we salute the uncommon courage exhibited by IPOB in chasing Muhammadu Buhari away from Biafraland. IPOB is stating emphatically that should BUHARI decide to come to Biafraland anytime in the future, we shall be waiting to die with him.
Barrister Emma Nmezu Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
Spokesperson for IPOB Spokesperson for IPOB