Chris Steven, Abuja
Following the recent face-off between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Nigerian military in Abia State, the South East Renewal Group (SERG) has blamed Nnamdi Kanu as the root cause of the tension in the region.
The development has forced the state government to declare three days of curfew across the state.
Reacting to the incident, SERG called on Igbo leaders of thought not to tarry further in doing the needful to arrest the impending war.
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday morning, Charles Mbani, National President of the group lamented that from his discovery, the IPOB youths have been brainwashed into seeing the army as the enemy.
According to Mbani, “You must have, like other Nigerians, watched recent events in Igboland with a sense of foreboding, concern and utmost dread. Images emerging from the southeast, our homeland, are as troubling as they are worrisome with the most recent being those of youths attacking military detachment with all manners of crude weapons including catapults, cudgels, machetes, sticks and others.
“These youths are being put up to this mischief after being brainwashed by the so called Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which is now militarizing them as its fighting force. These misguided youths have been deceived into thinking they are making the right sacrifice of protecting Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader whereas the only thing they sacrificing is their lives that they are throwing away on the alter of ignorance.
“The soldiers attacked by these uncouth elements are the ones taking part in Egwu Eke II (Operation Python Dance II), which we find most ridiculous considering that the same operation last year ensured that kidnappers and armed robbers that were desecrating our land were curtailed to a point where Igbos enjoyed peaceful 2016 Yuletide. We are therefore wondering if there is a nexus between IPOB and the crimes being eradicated by the military for its youths to become virulent on the scale being witnessed.”
Speaking further, the SERG leader condemned the confrontation with the military in the strongest terms as irresponsible, barbaric and having no place in a pluralistic country like Nigeria.
He added, “We urge other well meaning elders of our land to join in condemning the incidents. The unnecessary attempt to provoke the military into using stick to address the Biafra issue would be catastrophic and those who love the region should do so well to warn their children from setting the region ablaze.
“May we emphasise that Igbo leaders of thought must tarry no further in doing the needful before it’s too late. The conspiracy of silence on the part of these leaders is what has made Nnamdi Kanu fill the resulting vacuum as a demagogic evil that is leading our youth population astray. This disposition of indifference was displayed as the hate speech championed by Kanu gained momentum until it got to a point where other ethnic groups in Nigeria basically developed a morbid collective disdain for the Igbo.
“The hate speech has now crystalized and is the bedrock of the aggression being exhibited against the military. It nothing urgent is done the next phase in this ugly evolution could threaten our existence as a people.
“We have interrogated the situation and discovered that the IPOB youths have been brainwashed into seeing the army as the enemy, which is most unfortunate since the person whom they think they are defending is their real enemy. Nnamdi Kanu holds dual citizenship and will escape to the United Kingdom once he has the opportunity to flee across the border. He is going to leave behind broken bodies and damaged youths that would have destroyed their lives in pursuit of what is meaningless relative to contemporary world reality.”
The group further noted that some of those sponsoring the growing violence in south eastern Nigeria are those who lost money and political relevance having edged their bets in favour of former President Goodluck Jonathan being re-elected.
“Interestingly, Jonathan has moved up but these loser remained locked in the past and think their only access to redemption is to send our youths on suicide mission. We counsel such persons to desist forthwith for the Igbo nation is larger than the mess of pottage that they are bitter over.
“We have also noted the role of shameless politicians in Igboland that see the madness being advocated by Nnamdi Kanu as something to be milked for political capital. We have in the recent days seen such politicians rushing to tacitly endorse violence as the answer when other ethnic nationalities are pushing for restructuring. If violence is activated as being advocated the forget that our land would burn while other parts of the country continue with their life,” Mbani added.