The move to reconcile the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with Igbo leaders and South East governors may have suffered setback, as the group yesterday pulled out of the talks.
IPOB hinged its decision on the alleged inability of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to get the governors to de-proscribe its activities in line with the objectives of the peace meeting.
Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, had convened the “peace and reconciliation” meeting, which held for the third time in Enugu on Wednesday.
In a statement in Enugu by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the agitators said: “Following the inability of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East governors to de-proscribe the activities of IPOB in line with the stated objectives of the Prof. Ben Nwabueze-convened peace initiative, we hereby suspend, with immediate effect, any future contact or participation in meetings involving Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership or South East governors.
“The ceasefire announced as a gesture of goodwill after the first Enugu meeting is now officially revoked with no hope of future reinstatement.”
The pro-Biafra group said it accepted the ceasefire agreement out of the respect it had for Nwabueze despite the alleged connivance of Ohanaeze in the last military exercise, Operation Python Dance, that caused the death of its members.
Powerful stated: “IPOB toed this path of peaceful dialogue because of our deep respect for our more honourable and truthful elders whose wise counsel compelled us to give peace a chance. What has transpired over the past two months, culminating in the failed meeting of August 8, 2018 in Enugu, has clearly demonstrated the unwillingness of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East governors to break away from their slavish master-servant relationship with the Fulani caliphate.
“These unrepentant collaborators and instigators of Operation Python Dance abused the privilege IPOB’s ceasefire afforded them by seeking to turn the meeting into an endorsement of an Igbo candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential slot in the coming 2019 elections.