Factional IPOB group, the Reformed Indigenous People of Biafra, RE-IPOB, on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, unveiled a list of eminent personalities and elders of Biafra to lead its negotiation with the Federal Government over the agitation for an independent state of Biafra.
According to the Daily Sun, the list included Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, widow of former president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Prof. Uche Azikiwe, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, and Prof. Jerry Gana.
Others are Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, Dr. Kenneth Opigo, Dr. Okey Emordi, Uche Okwukwu, Obong Victor Attah, Prof. Nwankwo Nwaezeigwe, Chief Bassey Akpan, Uchenna Madu, former governor Ikedi Ohakim, representative of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and representative of Umuada Igbo.
The group, which broke away from the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and claimed to be the true Igbo organisation, in a statement signed by its national director of Publicity, Ikemba Biafra, also named Jonathan Kurubo from Bayelsa State as its new leader, adding it was not negotiating out of fear.
“Our position is not out of cowardice, we want peace. The Federal Government should return our goodwill and readiness for talks with honesty and sincerity. Nnamdi Kanu should henceforth desist from issuing any statement on behalf of Biafra in his own interest,” the statement said.
The group urged security agents to stop molesting or killing members of RE-IPOB as its security arm, Ogbunigwe, has been set up to protect Biafra people.
Kurubo, a graduate with knowledge in International relations, peace and conflict resolution as well as strategic studies, according to the group, “will pilot the affairs of the RE-IPOB until Biafra is actualised or the Nigerian government demonstrates its sincerity to fully re-integrate the people of Biafra through negotiations.”
However, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, rose from its national executive meeting at Okwe, Ebonyi State, and dissociated itself and Uchenna Madu, from the purported negotiation with the Federal Government.
The group, in a release signed by its national director of Information, Samuel Edeson said, “Though MASSOB acknowledges the regards and respect given to Comrade Uchenna Madu as a credible Igbo leader, we insist that Biafra is not negotiable and cannot be renounced. It is not a personal or religious belief, faith or human establishment; Biafra is the very existence and future of our people. What is Re-IPOB negotiating, a group that comes up today and wants to negotiate Biafra immediately, who is fooling himself?”
The statement stated that MASSOB reaction was not instigated by external or internal pressure but by the “dignity, pride, integrity, trust and confidence” the people of Biafra bestowed on it.
MASSOB warned persons “delighted in creating confusion among pro-Biafra groups with falsehood and blackmailing to desist from it now or face the consequences and punishments of saboteurs.”
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