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It’s time to stop IPOB’s madness in South East

The killing of Fatima, a pregnant house wife with her four children and other innocent people from Northern extraction by the violent and outlawed Indigenous…

The killing of Fatima, a pregnant house wife with her four children and other innocent people from Northern extraction by the violent and outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is crude, barbaric and condemnable.

Since the arrest and detention of their leader, Nmandi Kanu for alleged treason, IPOB through its militant arm-wing, Eastern Security Network (ESN), has turned to Frankenstein monster unleashing terror on peaceful and law-abiding people of the region.

The IPOB which was formed to promote a secession agenda has deviated from its core mandate and resorted to violence.  The frequent attacks on security formations and declaration of Monday as ‘sit-at-home’ (work free day) by the notorious group, has negatively affected the socio-economic development of South East states are some of their great undoing.

It is sad that Igbo social cultural groups and political leaders have remained mute amidst continued killings of defenceless people, a development which threatens the corporate existence of the country. There is nothing wrong for IPOB or any other similar organization to pursue genuine, peaceful and legitimate demand for secession so long as it’s within the ambit of laws.

If IPOB respects the fundamental human rights of people, nobody would raise an eyebrow about their activities.

But the inhuman nay, dangerous dimensions with which their agitation has taken in recent times raised suspicion on their real mission or motive. For instance, what has an agitation for Biafra got to do with guns and shedding of human blood? The late Biafran war Lord, Chukwumeka Ojukwu after he was granted pardon, regretted plunging the country to needless civil war.

He cautioned those who were promoting the idea of Biafra to be more courteous in their demand. Sadly, the Biafra promoters threw his wise counsel into the wind.

Now, Biafra has become a matter of life and death to many Igbos, including the intellectuals who are supposed to guide the younger ones. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Igbos are the most enterprising and successful tribe in Nigeria.

They are entrepreneurs with massive investments in pharmaceutical, automobile and other lucrative businesses. The Igbo people have made great fortunes in Northern Nigerian especially in states like Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and sokoto. With this success story, one expects IPOB to be more tolerant and nationalistic in both their outlook and agitation.

 However, the violent activities of IPOB have continued to become a source of fears and worries among the Northern traders and businessmen who haul their goods and services to the region. It is no longer news how trucks which carry perishable goods and domestic animals are increasingly becoming target of these urchins or vagabonds. It is on record that IPOB members have severally attacked and set ablaze many trucks belonging to the Northerners. The questions begging for answers are: what are the sins of these Northerners who reside and engage in their lawful businesses?  Is there anytime these poor Northerners opposed the realization of the Biafra of their dream? Do IPOB members know that these poor Northerners who stay in their region engage in menial jobs in other to eke out a living, are also victims of poor governance in the country?

Some of them cannot return back to their ancestral communities because bandits have sacked or displaced them. Instead of unjustifiably killing them, IPOB should redirect it’s grievance to their respective governments to address their grievances if any.

The IPOB should first hold their leaders accountable for trillions of naira received in the last two decades of our democracy. Unless IPOB wants to plunge the country into another civil war, “God forbid”, it should stop forthwith, the killings of ordinary Northerners who have nothing to do with their Biafra agitation.

The continued killings of northerners could lead to reprisals which would set the country on fire. It is time Igbo leaders prevail on IPOB members to drop their murderous ideologies for peace to reign. The government should employ all the necessary peace resolution mechanisms including brute force to stop IPOB’s madness.

Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua writes from Kaduna.

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