Political and socio-cultural leaders of Eastern Nigeria, the hotbed of the undying Biafra agitation, who have been identified as ‘’enemies’’ of the struggle of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are now to be treated as ‘’traitors’’ of the Igbo people, an IPOB source said from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
This is coming as Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the immediate past deputy senate president, confirmed a physical assault on him by some alleged IPOB activists in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday.
In a 64-second video about the attack released by his Media Assistant, Uche Anichukwu in Abuja, Ekweremadu was seen being violently questioned over his alleged conspiracy with the Federal Government to proscribe the IPOB in the South-East and killing several of its followers.
Ekweremadu was attacked at Löwensaal am Tier Garten, Nuremberg, venue for the annual New Yam Festival of the Igbo. The obviously angry youths prevented the federal legislator from escaping, though he was later whisked away in a Mercedes-Benz car, even as the mob continued to beat him.
At the root of the emerging development is the Operation Python Dance which the Nigerian Army launched in Eastern Nigeria in 2016 in the wake of protests by IPOB members who were demanding secession from Nigeria.
During the military operation, soldiers raided Umuahia, Abia State, the home town of the leader of the secessionist group, Nnamdi Kanu, whose whereabouts have been unknown since then.
As a result, the Federal Government designated IPOB as a terrorist organisation on September 18, 2017, under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013.
IPOB has ordered its members in 100 countries across the world to attack the governors of Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia and Anambra states if they are seen in any of the countries. Also to be attacked are other Igbo leaders like the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who allegedly supported the Operation Python Dance in the East.
IPOB Spokesperson, Emma Powerful, has however, pointed out that governors of Eastern Nigeria and some Ndigbo leaders had been marked as enemies to be attacked if they were seen in any of the 100 countries their members are residing.
He said the directive was given by Kanu and that in obedience to the IPOB leader’s order, its members were the ones who attacked Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg, Germany on Saturday, adding that the lawmaker was “disgraced by the IPOB Nuremberg Family as an Operation Python Dance instigator.”
While tagging Ekweremadu a “traitor”, accusing him of allegedly being among those that got the pro-Biafra group proscribed, alongside the South-East governors, Powerful vowed that IPOB will take similar action against their governors and other Igbo leaders, if they dared to attend any public event abroad.
“The Nuremberg IPOB family in Germany, in keeping with the long-standing directive from our leader to hound all instigators of the Operation Python Dance, is glad to report that Ike Ekweremadu was confronted and duly hounded out of a so-called New Yam Festival event in Germany.
“Despite repeated warnings to the organisers of this jamboree that Enugu, Ebonyi and other parts of Biafraland is under siege by the Fulani caliphate and their collaborators within, they went ahead to invite a known traitor, co-conspirator and one of those who worked with Igbo governors to proscribe and tag IPOB a terror organisation while they never raised any voice against the murderous Fulani herdsmen.
“This should serve as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and others that any day we find them in a public event abroad, they will be humiliated. IPOB is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world. Anywhere we find them, they will be dealt with”, he said.
Meanwhile, the attacked senator said he had immediately reported the incident to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar: “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nuremberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however could not make it eventually.
“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.
“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organisers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.
“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media as well as rallied the South East Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to heart against them, for they know not what they do.
“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hail and hearty. I have also spoken with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar.”
The New Yam Festival holds at the end of the rainy season in August and symbolises the conclusion of the harvest and the beginning of a new planting season.
The age-long festival is celebrated across Nigeria and the world wherever the Igbo people live.