The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appealed to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), to rescind its threat to resort to armed self-defence following the latest killing of its members by security agents.
The National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, who made the appeal in Umuahia during an interview with The AUTHORITY on Sunday, said the unwarranted attacks on Biafran agitators by security agents were a ploy by “the enemies of Ndigbo” to provoke them to reprisal.
He said some elements in the security circles had been looking for excuses to turn the South East zone into another theatre of war as currently witnessed in the North East, but pleaded with IPOB and other agitators to resist the temptation.
“IPOB and all Biafran agitators should know that some persons in the corridors of power are looking for the slightest opportunity to unleash horror on our people.
“The continued mindless killing of unarmed Biafran agitators is nothing but a ploy by the architects of Igbo problems to lure the agitators into violence, and tag them as terrorists to justify any military action”, Isiguzoro said.
The OYC leader who strongly condemned the spate of killings of Biafran activists on peaceful protests, also cautioned against the grave implications of suppressing people’s freedom of expression in a democracy.
He also renewed OYC’s appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, to proffer a political solution to the primary cause of the wave of protests in South Eastern states by releasing the detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“Buhari should release Nnamdi Kanu to Igbo leaders and that will put an end to the tension in the country over his continued detention”, Isiguzoro said.
He argued that, “the continued detention of Biafran activists at a time when hundreds of suspected Boko Haram fighters are being routinely released by the same security agencies raises a lot of questions.
“It boggles the mind to reflect that just on Friday, the army freed about 275 suspected Boko Haram members while on the other hand, Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafran agitators who have never taken up arms against the state are still languishing in jail even when a court has ordered their release”.
Isiguzoro further called on the Federal Government to immediately address the causes of the renewed agitation for Biafran secession such as systematic marginalisation of Ndigbo in the power equation of Nigeria and infrastructural decay in the South East.
He however said that OYC in collaboration with Igbo leaders would continue to intensify efforts towards releasing Kanu and other detained Biafran agitators.