… Says PISE-P initiative political gimmick
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has cautioned the Deputy Speaker House of Representatives and member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, to stop using the ordeal of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and the insecurity in the South-East to pursue his political interest.
IPOB in a strong-worded statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, accused the Deputy Speaker of non-committal to Kanu’s release, claiming that the lawmaker is only using the situation to attract attention to himself.
The warning is coming on the heels of the recent launch of Peace In South-East Project, PISE-P initiative, a brainchild of the Deputy Speaker aimed at seeking non-kinetic approach in tackling the insecurity in the South-East.
Few days after the launch at Bende, Kalu followed up with the launch of “Food for Peace” project where he distributed over 6000 bags of rice and beans to his constituents and people from other parts of South-East.
He said that many Nigerians including the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno; Gov. Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State; Chief Athur Eze; among others donated for the project.
The Deputy Speaker called on those behind the insecurity in the South-East to lay down their arms and embrace peace, promising amnesty for them and assuring that discussions are on to secure release for Kanu.
But IPOB in a swift response, dismissed the initiative as “a political game” accusing the Deputy Speaker of trying to ride on Kanu’s back to achieve popularity.
The statement read in part: “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our supreme leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been drawn to the continuous and frequent use of IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s ordeal by the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, to pursue his political interest.
“He should stop deceiving the public. We advise Hon. Benjamin Kalu to refrain from using IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s political persecution for his selfish political interest. We have gone past the stage of political games and gimmicks.
“Hon. Benjamin Kalu has constantly been on the print and social media claiming to be working hard for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“IPOB, ESN, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu have become a daily song for the APC stooges and political jobbers who do not have any genuine interest in IPOB struggle nor on the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Federal government’s persecution and illegal detention. Hon. Kalu has found something of relevance to keep making headlines on the pages of Nigerian newspapers.
“We wish to let him know that we are aware of his antics and gimmicks towards Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB.
“It is pathetic that some self-serving Igbo politicians are bent on destroying IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, while other politicians from other zones are empowering their political agitation groups. If not for IPOB, ESN, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, many South-Eastern villages would have been occupied by terrorists.
“Mass burial graves and IDP camps would have been the lot of Ndigbo. But Chukwu Okike forbids that. Instead of supporting IPOB and ESN to keep our land safe, these greedy and insatiable politicians, some businessmen, and even religious elites are colluding with our enemies to destroy IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“The dangerous path that Hausa political class took years ago with Fulani that destroyed their race is what some greedy Igbo leaders have embarked on today. Only fools destroy their line of defense to aid their conquerors.”
IPOB said that the Deputy Speaker should be ignored, adding that the discerning minds already know their mission.
“Ndigbo and the public should ignore Benjamin kalu and co. They cannot deceive the intelligent men and women in IPOB and Biafrans in general. We know their plans, and they will face the consequences of their actions when the right time comes.”
IPOB advised the Deputy Speaker to pull back, saying that he is treading on a dangerous ground.
“We are calling the family and associates of Benjamin Kalu to advise him to refrain from using IPOB and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to seek his political interests. The political gathering of the enemies of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB in his house at Bende, Abia State, recently is a very suspicious move.
“At this point of our struggle, we are not happy and would not be kind to anyone putting the life of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in danger for whatever reasons.
“In IPOB, we don’t forget, and we don’t forgive. Hon. Benjamin Kalu should be careful about his plans of working against IPOB members, ESN, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”
IPOB further said that Kalu should stop taking the glory for the peace in South-East during the Yuletide which it credited to the efforts of the Eastern Security Network, ESN.
“Hon. Benjamin Kalu should stop taking credit for the peace Ndigbo experienced during this Christmas season. IPOB and ESN Operatives ensured that it was peaceful celebrations in our region during this last Christmas season. IPOB made it open that the criminals should stay off Ndigbo during this Christmas season and not your meeting Benjamin Kalu.
“His meeting with our enemies had nothing to do with the peace we experienced in the region during this Christmas. It was just a political charade that was held at his house in Bende, Abia State, this past yuletide season.
“Benjamin did you put security in the region. Why claiming what he did not do? Those he held meeting with in his personal house in Bende Abia State are the sponsors of this insecurities going on in the region, IPOB announced it that ESN will come out for security during this Christmas period.”
The pro-Biafra movement, however, said it had no grouse with the Deputy Speaker, but challenged him to channel his energy to the struggle to free Kanu as a proof of his genuine concern for the Igbo cause.
“IPOB has nothing against you but those you called in the meeting in your house are enemies of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB. We expect you to raise your voice and demand that the Federal Government respect the court and the rule of law.
“The Government of Muhammadu Buhari said that the court will decide Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s fate. But after Mazi Nnamdi Kanu defeated them in their own court, the same Government refused to release him.
“President Tinubu is following the line to try him in his own court instead of you telling the government to obey the court orders or judgments they obeyed the Supreme Court judgment that is not against them and this indicated that APC government is only interested in destroying Nigeria and they have started taking the line (sic). Political jobbers are busy buying political favors with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s persecution.”
IPOB told Kalu to prevail on the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to release Kanu, and thus prove that he is a hero.
“Hon. Benjamin Kalu should advise President Tinubu not to allow our leader to die in their custody or detention knowing about our Leader’s precarious health conditions. If he dies in their detention facility, the consequences will be un-imagined.
“Those sincere people who want sustainable peace in the Eastern Region should work hard for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu now. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu remains the only political prisoner in Nigeria. This should be a slap on the faces of great Igbo men and women, including the politicians.
“If no Oduduwa freedom agitator is in detention or prison in Nigeria, why should Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and many IPOB members remain in detentions if there is no ethnic cleansing agenda in place? If no Northern murderous terrorists, bandits, and Fulani herdsmen are in detention in Nigeria, why should IPOB members and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu be in detention if there are no ethnic annihilation agenda against Ndigbo?”
IPOB vowed never to give up its agitation for freedom until Kanu is released and a date scheduled for referendum.
“Let Nigeria and all their political collaborators understand that IPOB has crossed the Rubicon. We shall never retreat nor surrender until our leader is released and the Biafra Referendum date is scheduled.
“Hon. Benjamin Kalu, please be careful and stop using ESN, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and IPOB for political gimmick and trade-off. Stop your deceptive public show of love for Mazi Nnamdi Kanu because deep down, you’re against his vision. If indeed you’re interested in his release, work (sic) your talk. Until then, stop using Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s persecution to pursue your political interests with the APC and Tinubu’s government.”
The statement further read: “Those who perpetuate crime with the name of IPOB, ESN, and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu should understand that there will be consequences.
“Benjamin Kalu, you called meeting of vultures in Igboland and thought that you called a peaceful meeting? The only peaceful meeting you can call is to call for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and call for UN to give us a referendum date for Biafrans to decide their fate either to stay in Nigeria or to restore Biafra Nation.”
In a press release, PISE-P Media Team expressed happiness that IPOB has eventually recognised its efforts in ensuring the return of peace to South-East.
It said: “PISE-P received this press release with gladness because it means that a conversation has commenced on the issues affecting our people in the region.
“While thanking all the aggrieved ones in the South-East for the peace they maintained during the Yuletide and the new year celebrations, the conveners of the peace project urge all interested groups including the IPOB to accept to sustain the peace they contributed to during the season. The benefits of peace cannot be over emphasised.
“While we encourage the government to embrace this non-kinetic ways of solving our issues without bullets and guns which they have embraced, the people should reciprocate by being intentional in avoiding threats and comments that incite violence, hatred and bitterness.”
“We are preaching no more guns and bullets and bloods of our brothers on the streets of the south east and to preach against it can only come from the real enemies of the south east.
“Peace in south east project cannot be complete without the core element of the advocacy to release our brother Nnamdi Kanu and we insist that conversations are going outside the public eyes to get him out whether conditionally or unconditionally. PISE- P will continue in our fight to achieve this because at the end, what matters is that we have peace in the region and yes, this is fundamental to our quest. On this point, we are on the same page with IPOB and nothing more.”