He said: “What the Indiginous People of Biafra, IPoB, is saying is what every Igbo man knows to be true. Nnamdi Kanu has taken the problems of the Igbos to the international arena. The Igbo elites are saying that Nigeria is better for us because we need a wider market to operate.
“Secondly, we are a major stakeholder in this Nigerian enterprise. Therefore, the Igbo elites have been trying to tune down the rhetorics of Kanu in order to negotiate a restructured Nigeria; that is our primary ambition, that Nigeria be restructured along the lines of the first republic. If Nigeria is restructured, we can develop at our own pace. Under Michael Okpara premiership, Eastern Nigeria was the fastest growing economy in the world and we can repeat that feat. If Nigeria is restructured, we can create a Dubai in Nigeria and I am sure that the zones in the north can do better than Netherlands which earns more in agriculture than Nigeria has ever earned by crude oil. Middle-belt will do a lot better with the amount of mineral deposits in their place.
“So, a restructured Nigeria will wake up the Nigerian economy because there would be mutual competition and each region would be doing as good as they were doing in the first republic; agriculture will come back, mineral resources will come back and crude oil which is now dwindling and not so attractive again would still be there.
“The focus of the elites in Igboland is restructuring. We believe that this marginalisation which has been going on for over 50 years after the war will be a thing of the past. I think it is about time Nigeria has a second thinking about it and if they do, in every considerable fairness, it is the turn of the South East Nigeria to produce a president for the country. Other zones have done so, why not the South East? Are we still being punished for the war?
“What we are saying is that if we would not be allowed to be president of Nigeria, and if marginalisation must go on, it reduces us to second-class citizens and slaves in our own country, the only thing available to us is to fight for our independence and freedom. The cry for restructuring is global in Nigeria now, and if South East is continuously marginalised after 2023, I am not sure that any zone in Nigeria, especially, South West, South South and Middle Belt will feel comfortable in continuing in a country called Nigeria.
“If the man who is so badly marginalised cannot be assuaged, then, where is the hope for Nigeria when weighed on the anvil of equity? The country felt that the West were injured by the annulment of June 12 election and they zoned the presidency to the South West and they stopped their agitation for the creation of Oduduwa State and remained in Nigeria and started making investment at Abuja. Why is the one of the Igbos different? We are just saying that if Nigeria does not want us, there is an alternative and that alternative is for us to go and take care of ourselves.
“Every group that wants to succeed in life must have a pressure group. I see Nnamdi Kanu as a pressure group and I see the Igbo elites as patriots who believe in ‘One Nigeria’ as long as it is an equitable, fair and just Nigeria. Kanu is simply saying, if you don’t want to listen to our elders and elites, then, let us break away.”
The former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, yesterday, said
Awurum Eze Not ESN Operative, Says IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has refuted the story that one Awurum Eze arrested in Aba recently and said to be IPOB second in command is a member of Eastern Security Network (ESN).
In a press statement signed by the media and publicity Secretary of the group comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB said the said Ewurum Eze is too old to be ESN Operative.
It described the claim as “cheap propaganda and false claims to imaginary military prowess”.
Part of release read: “The said man is not an operative of ESN. Such a man is too old to be recruited into ESN let alone being Ikonso’s Second in Command.
“The Nigeria security agents should stop making mockery of themselves. Arrest of innocent Biafrans and labelling them ESN operatives cannot make you overpower our gallant ESN operatives”, it said.
It said that its background check revealed that the said Awurum Eze “had issues with his traditional ruler who gave his contact to the security agents alleging that he belongs to ESN. He is not our own”.
IPOB alleged a grand plot by the Nigeria security agencies “to reduce Biafra population through the on-going secret abductions and killings of innocent Biafrans after tagging them IPOB and ESN members.
It added: “This wicked plot which started in Imo State is now gaining momentum across the entire Biafra land through the collaboration of some traitors in the mould of Supreme Court administrator of Imo State Hope Uzodinma and his likes.
“Biafrans of all age brackets are now at the mercy of the double-faced Nigeria security agents as all they need to arrest and kill them off is to brand them ESN operative or sponsor,” the IPOB concluded.
Army Arrests Ikonso’s Second-In-Command During IPOB, ESN Raid In Abia
The Nigerian Army has said it has arrested the Second-in-Command to the neutralised commander of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Aba town in Abia State during the raid.
The army arrested 48-year-old Awurum Eze, a native of Umoneke Nta in the Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
The Director, Army Public Relations, in a release said, Eze had escaped from his village on May 4 when the operatives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) stormed his village house in Isiala Mbano where he was hiding.
He said, “The Second-in-Command to the neutralised IPOB/ESN Terrorist leader Ikonso, Awurum Eze, has been arrested by security operatives in Aba, Abia State.
“The 48-year-old Awurum Eze, a native of Umoneke Nta, Isiala-Mbano LGA, Imo State, had on the 4th of May, 2021 escaped when operatives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) stormed his village house in Isiala Mbano where he was hiding.
“Intensive manhunt was thereafter launched towards tracing and arresting him. He was eventually apprehended on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Aba after weeks of unrelenting follow-ups by operatives.
“Awurum Eze is one of the main sponsors of the numerous killings in Imo State and has been on the wanted list of security agents for more than 3 months.
“Many of the arrested IPOB /ESN terrorists had earlier mentioned him as their key sponsor, mastermind and Second-in-Command to the late Ikonso. According to them, amongst all their leaders in Imo State, only Ikonso and Awurum have direct communication link with Nnamdi Kanu. He can be seen in several photographs posing with the fugitive terrorist leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
“Investigation by the combined team of security operatives continues.”
Vendors Arrested For Selling Newspapers With News On IPOB
The newspaper vendors are accused of circulating newspapers that promote the activities of IPOB.
The Inspector General of Police (IG) Intelligent Response Team (IRT) on Monday arrested five newspaper vendors in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria’s South-east, for allegedly promoting activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Abutu Yaro, confirmed the arrest but said the operatives were not from his command.
One of the arrested vendors, Onyebuchi Iwundu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a police station that the IRT operatives arrested them at Rotibi Street, a popular newspaper circulation street, off Douglas Road in the early hours of Monday.
Mr Iwundu said they were accused of circulating newspapers that promote the activities of IPOB.
He said he and others were manhandled before being taken to the police station for detention.
The vendor said the operatives confiscated their papers and money, adding that they had been warned not to circulate newspapers that promote IPOB activities.
Other vendors arrested have been identified as Isinwa Blessing, Nelson, Micheal and Sakatan.
NAN reported that the circulation manager of New Telegraph newspaper, Chuck Ugwuibe, was arrested on Tuesday at Banana junction Orlu and has been in police custody.
Eastern Security Network, a security arm of IPOB, appears to have a strong presence in Imo.
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