Founder of the Customary Government for the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Barrister Emeka Emekesiri, has alleged that the embattled leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu hijacked his idea of the separatist group.
Emekesiri, speaking to Vanguard on the re-arrest of Kanu, says it’s time for the members of the group to resonate with the original philosophy and method of operation of IPOB before it was hijacked by Kanu.
Emekesiri said the original IPOB ideology which he propels is for devolution of powers and restructuring of Nigeria back to regional governments, which in the present time will compose of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The Barrister who said his group is following up its submission at the just concluded constitutional amendment review, said getting the regional government will be getting closer to Biafra, which, according to him is the ultimate determination of the Indigenous people of Biafra, the remnants of the old Biafra Republic of Eastern Nigeria that is a customary entity.
Reacting to the re-arrest of the breakaway IPOB leader, Emekesiri said he regrets that people tend to listen more to Nnamdi Kanu’s version of IPOB than the original philosophy for creation of IPOB.
He said; “I understand he (Kanu) was standing trial and he has been brought to continue his trial and so if that is what happened, it’s ok. I cannot oppose what the law says because someone who is standing trial and he jumped the bail is bound to return and continue his trial.”
On his stand if it require that Kanu should be abducted or extradited without due process? Emekesiri said;
“From what I read, he was not arrested in UK, assuming it was in UK, the UK government would have followed the process of extradition. I don’t know where he was arrested but if it were in UK, definitely he would have gone through the extradition process.
“When the court cancelled his bail, the court issued a bench warrant for him to be arrested and so there is a bench warrant on him. He was aware there was a bench warrant issued by a Judge for him to be arrested and maybe he put himself in a way where he was arrested.
“If you make yourself available for arrest, you will be arrested. Remember it was not only the Nigerian authority that was involved, the Interpol was also involved.
Speaking on the way forward for the IPOB following the re-arrest of Kanu, Emekesiri said the group has never been part of the Kanu’s IPOB.
He said; “The original IPOB is still going on and nothing has happened to us, it’s just that those of you guys in the media, you promote the Nnamdi Kanu faction because he makes a lot of noise and you don’t want to promote the one that is before the Nigeria government.
“We are the ones who are before the Nigerian government, we are the ones who presented our Biafra bills before the National Assembly, are we not the ones who are in court with Nigeria even the court of Appeal right now?
“Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest concerns his own faction, his cult, he built a cult of gangsters and so he is not speaking for us. Let it be known that Nnamdi Kanu does not speak for the Igbo nation.
“The Igbo nation made our point clear in 1995, we held a meeting, the Biafra elders held a meeting in 1994 at Nzuko Igbo conference in Enugu and drew the map on the way forward, both for Biafra and for Nigeria and we brought this proposal before the national conference organised by General Abacha in 1995 and it was approved.
“We want Nigeria to be restructured into six nations in one, that is our stand, the stand of elders of Biafra land; that is the stand of Igbo elders that we want Nigeria to be restructured into six nations in one and that was why we created the six regions.
“The Igbo elders created these six geopolitical zones you are hearing about today and we want these six geopolitical zones now to become six nations in one Nigeria, for now. Our stand is clear, Nnamdi Kanu is not speaking for us, and he doesn’t speak for the Igbo nation.