INDIGENOUS People f Biafra (Ipob) leaders have warned the five governors of the southeast geo-political zone and the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo that they will live to regret their role in its proscription by the federal government.
Since last year, the relationship between the governors and Ipob has become very frosty after former deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was attacked in Germany by members of the separatist group. Ipob, which is campaigning for an independent nation of Biafra, accused Senator Ekweremadu of failing to support their cause and had threatened that a similar fate awaits all governors who travel abroad.
Ipob had threatened to attack southeast governors and other Igbo leaders outside the country after beating up Senator Ekweremadu for allegedly working their interest. Since then, a war of words has broken out between the two sides with the governors describing Ipob as a bunch of miscreants and an illegal proscribed organisation.
However, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, appeared to be softening his stance late last year, declaring that the governors never proscribed Ipob but just its activities across the region. He then asked Ipob to convene a meeting and invite the governors for discussions.
Ipob, however, remain incensed at the role of the governors, described the proscription of their association as the greatest mistake the Ohaneze Ndigbo and the southeast governors had made in history. It alleged that by the act, Igbo leaders opened the region to constant attacks and humiliation by alleged terrorists, herdsmen and bandits.
Emma Powerful, Ipob’s spokesman said the current attacks and killings of the people of the area were the beginning of the ugly lessons for what it termed the treacherous and ignoble role of the governors and other actors in the proscription of the group. He added that Igbo leaders would regret this action.
Mr Powerful said: “Conniving with the enemies to get rid of Ipob, which is the only defence line of the Biafra nation, is the greatest mistake made by the southeast governors, Ohaneze Ndigbo and some self-acclaimed Igbo political leaders. It is a constant reminder of the Igbo adage that says when you kill your hero in an internal squabble, during an external fight you must remember him.
“The reward of treachery is shame and eternal regret. By conniving with the enemies to get rid of Ipob that is the only defence line of Biafra nation, they have opened our land to constant attack and humiliation.”