SEVERAL Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) members are up in arms with the leadership of the organisation over their recent decision to suspend the weekly sit-at-home protests called to express their anger at the abduction and trial of their founder Nnamdi Kanu.
Ipob has been campaigning for the recreation of the independent republic of Biafra which broke away from Nigeria between July 1967 and January 1970 during the civil war. Its leader Nnamdi Kanu, who has leading the secession calls, was recently abducted in Kenya and flown to Nigeria where he is currently facing treason charges.
To protest Mr Kanu’s arrest, Ipob called for weekly sit-at-home campaigns every Monday, which have been very effective across the southeast geo-political zone with widespread compliance. This week, however, Ipob’s leadership called off Monday’s protest, saying they will now only take place when Mr Kanu appears in court.
This development has not gone down well with all Ipob’s members, with some of them accusing the organisation’s leadership of sabotage. Some aggrieved members have questioned whether Mr Kanu knew about the suspension of the order, pointing out that despite the cancellation on Monday, compliance was still very high.
Kanunta Kanu, the Ipob leader’s younger brother was the one who first announced that Monday’s planned sit-at-home order had been suspended. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyer, later issued a statement confirming that his client approved the suspension of the order.
Mr Ejiofor added that the confusion among some Ipob members was caused because of the presence of some marauders in the organisation who are not Nnamdi Kanu loyalists. He regretted the confusion among the members, saying that at thi8s critical moment, peace and discipline should be the ultimate guide.
Emma Powerful, Ipob’s spokesman, said: “The Indigenous People of Biafra ably led by our great leader Nnamdi Kanu, has told those criticising and insulting the lead counsel Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, to stop and see reason with us for suspending the Monday weekly sit-at-home. Some uninformed fellows and mischief makers have been insulting, criticising and attacking Ifeanyi Ejiofor for giving his nod to the suspension of the Monday weekly sit-at-home.
“Ipob is also disappointed that despite our earlier explanations on the rationale behind our decision to suspend the Monday sit-at-home order, some fellows are still disparaging our lead counsel and our leadership over the decisions. We therefore, wish to advise all those playing the devil’s advocate to desist in their own interest and stop giving our enemies room to mock us.
“Ipob is a well structured and organised movement with clear cut hierarchical structure as well. Henceforth, Ipob will no longer take lightly any act of insubordination from anybody or from any quarter irrespective of anyone’s status on our leader’s lawyers.
They have not taken any action inimical to the struggle to warrant the embarrassing and undeserved insults from some uninformed folks. All the decisions so far taken were in the best interest of the struggle and in accordance with direct directive from our leader, who is very impressed with the actions and solidarity so far given and implemented by the leadership since his incarceration.”