*As Igbo Mandate Congress Seeks Release of Protesters*
The presumed founder of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Retired Justice Eze Ozobu has denounced the hate speeches and incitement to aggression as being portrayed by persons under the guise of Radio Biafra.
Speaking with the Rev Obinna Akukwe, Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) who sought his views as part of the group’s ongoing consultations with Igbo leaders on how to put an end to hate speeches characterizing the new face of Radio Biafra, Justice Eze Ozobu said that he doesn’t even know the person called Nnamdi Kanu.
According to the respected Octogenarian, ‘I do not know anybody called Nnamdi Kanu. You said that his name is what? How does he look like? I have never asked anybody to use violence or incitement to achieve any means. “
Justice Eze Ozobu also said that “for two years now I have not had audience with anybody over any matter political including IPOB, Radio Biafra or any other group, neither do I listen to Radio Biafra.”
He threatened to take legal actions against anybody who associates him with any hate speech, aggression and unruly activities in any ramifications.
The wife of Justice Eze Ozobu, a retired permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs also lashed out at those associating her husband with hate speeches as name droppers.
According to Osodieme Chief Mrs Eze Ozobu, ” IPOB, Radio Biafra or whosoever have not seen my husband for over two years, therefore nobody can claim that he sent them on any mission. They are dropping his name without consulting him”.
Describing her husband as a man of principle and peace, she sued for peace among the Igbos and advised the aggrieved to do so within the ambit of truth, justice and rule of law.
IPOB had claimed that His Royal Majesty, Retired Justice Eze Ozobu (OFR) was their founder with the designation of Chairman Governing Council of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra with Dr Dozie Ikedife as the Secretary.
Justice Eze Ozobu was the Chief Judge of Enugu State for many years. It is on record that his tenure as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was the most transparent. He is a foremost respectable Igbo Jurist whose incorruptible stature is likened to that of his friend, the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa.
Igbo Mandate Congress has condemned the hate speeches associated with Radio Biafra. This was part of the resolutions of the emergency meeting held in Enugu to evaluate the implication of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) successful protest march in Onitsha, Asaba, Owerri and Yenagoa on Friday. The group described the hate speeches as contrary to the spirit of Biafra.
Rev Akukwe explained that “abusing the Hausa, the Fulani, and the Yoruba in the course of pursuing Biafra is anti-Christian. Christianity cannot support the dissemination of hate messages against fellow living beings created by God, and nobody chose which tribe to come from.
“It is God that created all. Anybody or group that wants Biafra should pursue it within the ambit of reasonable processes and international conventions”
Clarifying further, Akukwe said that “since 1999 Igbos have occupied positions of Senate Presidency, Deputy Senate Presidency, Party Chairmanship, Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, and yet the all-important Enugu-Onitsha Highway, Enugu-Nsukka Highway from Opi to 9th Mile and Enugu-Port-Harcourt Highway from the Okigwe end are the worst roads in Nigeria due to their selfish representations at the center. While other regions are being developed, South East politicians embezzled their lot and they are now using a people’s aspiration to cover up for crime.
“These political bandits failed to ensure that these roads were repaired from the Obasanjo through to the Jonathan regime, preferring to pursue contracts and appointments. We should blame our corrupt Igbo leadership first for our woes and make them to account for years of selfish superintendent over our destinies before blaming outside accomplices.”
Akukwe averred further that “The Federal Government should release Nnamdi Kanu, and all IPOB protesters with immediate effect.
“Ben Onwuka of Biafra Zionist Movement and his members languishing in Enugu Prisons and all MASSOB members in detention should be granted amnesty and sent home because many of them are victims of corrupt governance at the center fueled by corrupt and incompetent political representations from the South East.”
The Abia State Coordinator of Igbo Mandate Congress and founding Secretary General of Ohanaeze Youths Council, Comrade Chuks Ibegbu in his submissions said that “we must be careful with these protests in order not to be used by selfish elements because there is not much difference between these agitations and the money making sentiments used by MASSOB leader Uwazurike over the years.
“Our people must be careful not to be dragged into another conflict driven by self-interests. Security agencies should release the misguided elements that joined the protests due to bandwagon effects.”
Ohanaeze Ndigbo had also cautioned on the activities of IPOB. The Assistant National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Coordinator of Igbo Ohanaeze Integrity Groups, Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu has said that those sponsoring the agitations are Igbo politicians afraid of EFCC prosecution.
According to the Ohanaeze Spokesman, “evil minded politicians afraid of prosecution are sponsoring aspects of IPOB protest march. These people should be cautioned before it is too late. Arrested protesters should be counseled and sent home and the use of force should be discouraged”.
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