I make this Statement in my capacity as the founder and vision bearer of the body known as INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA otherwise called IPOB as an acronym which sued the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a representative capacity in the Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 in the Federal High Court of Nigeria seeking to exercise their right to self-determination. The vision of INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA is to achieve the independence of Biafra by legal, political and diplomatic processes.
THE SUMMIT BY OHANAEZE NDIGBO SHALL HOLD IN THE INTEREST OF THE IGBO NATION AND THE ENTIRE BIAFRALAND
Emeka Emekesiri, Esq., Barrister & Solicitor
Founder & Vision Bearer of Indigenous People of Biafra
Chairman, Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN)
I make this Statement in my capacity as the founder and vision bearer of the body known as INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA otherwise called IPOB as an acronym which sued the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a representative capacity in the Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 in the Federal High Court of Nigeria seeking to exercise their right to self-determination. The vision of INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA is to achieve the independence of Biafra by legal, political and diplomatic processes. We have neither deviated from this vision nor from our strategies of achieving the vision. At the moment, we are engaged in both national and international politics and diplomacy. We are the remnants of the Biafrans who were not consumed in the war and now scattered in all parts of the world. We run a Customary Government under the Nigerian Legal System and are governed under Customary Law by our council of elders known as the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra which is the highest governing council of our Customary Government. The Chairman of the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra is His Royal Majesty, His Lordship, the Honourable Justice Eze Ozobu (rtd) OFR; and the Deputy Chairman is Dr Dozie Ikedife, OON, JP. Our Secretary-General, Brig Gen Joe Achuzia (rtd), has just passed on and shall be replaced by due process after his funeral rites.
I have just read the publication in the Daily Post Newspaper of 31 March 2018 with the caption, “Biafra: IPOB warns Ohanaeze against summit, threatens to kill Nwodo, Governors” which I have reproduced below:
“The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has warned the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo against holding the proposed summit on restructuring in Enugu. The group said it would ensure that such gathering summit was disrupted, whether the venue is flooded with security or not. A press release signed by Emma powerful, publicity secretary of the IPOB, said that the summit would only hold if its members were all killed.
It further threatened that if such happened, Nwodo and all leaders of the southeast and the governors from the region who supported the summit would not be spared, including their families, no matter where they resided. “Should the Nigerian army arrest or kill anyone on that day, Nnia Nwodo’s children and that of the governors and anybody else involved in the betrayal of IPOB and Biafrans in General will suffer the same fate regardless of where they are”, he said.
The group said it was not unaware of nocturnal meetings between Nwodo and a top military officer attached to 82 division, in the hope of holding the summit that would enslave Igbo for another 100 years. IPOB said Ohanaeze was free to meet on any other agenda including referendum, but will not accept any meeting on restructuring.
Part of the press release made available to DAILY POST in Awka read, “We warn Chief John Nnia Nwodo of Ohanaeze Ndigbo not to dare hold the Fulani sponsored Igbo summit in Enugu. IPOB warns Nnia Nwodo and his collaborators in crime not to dare or face the consequences from the youth. We respect and recognise our elders including freedom of speech and assembly but not one designed to enslave us in the deadly Nigerian contraption for another 100 years. We are well aware of the nocturnal meetings between Nnia Nwodo and a certain Brigadier General affiliated to the GOC of 82 Division Enugu. If Ohaneze Ndigbo likes let them surround the venue with armoured tanks and Fulani soldiers, this is certain, the summit will not hold unless Nnia Nwodo and his collaborators kill us all on that particular day. Nnia Nwodo and his collaborators are in the liberty to call summit to sensitize and educate our people for the upcoming referendum not restructuring to remain in Nigeria.
The group said both Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East governors forum had outlived their usefulness, and merely existed to entrench Fulani dominance and influence over Igboland and Biafra in general.
“Without exception, they are all Hausa Fulani errand boys and girls. We have taken the liberty of chronicling the sad history of Igbo people and wider Biafra in Nigeria. Majority of Igbos and Biafrans do not want Nigeria any more, if Nnia Nwodo and his collaborators in Biafraland are in any doubt, they should conduct a plebiscite towards the democratic demand for Biafra independence.”
I have not met this man called Mr Emma Powerful but it is clear to me that he does not know the meaning and vision of the body known as INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA otherwise called IPOB. It is the name of a nation and not a group. This is the name I created in 2007 and wrote it in my book, “Biafra or Nigerian Presidency- What the Ibos Want”, published in 2012, to define all the remnants of the Biafran Nation and their descendants who were not consumed in the war between Nigeria and Biafra. It is the name by which I filed the case in Court between Biafra and Nigeria. In 2013, Dr Dozie Ikedife abbreviated the name to IPOB. It is a non-legal entity as Biafra is not yet sovereign and therefore sued in a representative capacity by a human rights organization called Bilie Human Rights Initiative. I argued in Court that what Biafra lost after the war was its sovereignty and not its indigenous identity as a people. I further argued that the greatest mistake Nigeria made was to have spared the remnants of Biafra alive because if Nigeria had annihilated Biafra just as Rome annihilated Carthage during the Punic wars, there would not have been any remnants of the Biafrans today seeking to exercise their right to self-determination. Having survived the war, the remnants of Biafra are now protected under both the Nigerian law and international law to rise up again as a sovereign nation and exercise their right to self-determination. Biafra is now an amorphous nation whose children maintain their indigenous identity and governed under Customary Law but not yet a nation-state created by statute. There is a difference between a nation and a nation-state. Biafra is a nation now but not a nation-state. All lawyers trained in International Law know this truth.
It is quite unfortunate that Mr Emma Powerful and his followers have consistently opposed the vision and mission of INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA as they created a faction of Indigenous People of Biafra which they call a GROUP registered as a private limited liability company in the overseas run by Radio Biafra London. The Newspaper reported them as a Group threatening to disrupt the Summit of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the following narratives:
“The group said it would ensure that such gathering summit was disrupted, whether the venue is flooded with security or not. A press release signed by Emma powerful, publicity secretary of the IPOB, said that the summit would only hold if its members were all killed. It further threatened that if such happened, Nwodo and all leaders of the southeast and the governors from the region who supported the summit would not be spared, including their families, no matter where they resided”.
“The group said both Ohanaeze Ndigbo and South East governors forum had outlived their usefulness, and merely existed to entrench Fulani dominance and influence over Igboland and Biafra in general”.
“The group said it was not unaware of nocturnal meetings between Nwodo and a top military officer attached to 82 division, in the hope of holding the summit that would enslave Igbo for another 100 years”.
We condemn the threat to life made by Mr Emma Powerful and his Group against the lives of Igbo leaders and their families for planning to hold a SUMMIT in Enugu to discuss the issue of RESTRUCTURING. We condemn their threat to disrupt the gathering of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Mr Emma Powerful and his followers are really sounding powerful and confrontational but I hope they will not lead the youths to their untimely death again. By this statement I make it clear that INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA led by the Supreme Council of Elders and the Customary Government have no hand in threatening the lives of the Igbo leaders and Governors. We condemn the threat by the Emma Powerful-led Group to kill Chief Nnia Nwodo and the South East Governors.
It is quite unfortunate that whenever the name, “INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA” or “IPOB” is mentioned, the public is made to believe that it is the pro-Biafra Group led by the Director of Radio Biafra London. In my previous writings, I had disclosed why the Director of Radio Biafra London was ostracised by the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra in 2014. Without equivocation, I make it clear that the Director of Radio Biafra London is an imposter and usurper by claiming to be the founder and leader of INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA. He is the founder and leader of his limited liability companies called Indigenous People of Biafra Ltd (limited by shares) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) limited by guarantee. He is not the leader of the people known as INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA who are the claimants in Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 seeking to exercise their right to self-determination by legal, political and diplomatic methodology. We are a nation and not a limited liability company! Even though I am the vision bearer who created the concept and name of the movement by Indigenous People of Biafra, I did not make myself the leader of Biafra but gathered the Elders of Biafraland together and constituted them into a governing council under Customary Law known as the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra to lead the Biafrans. It is painful that the Director of Radio Biafra London went on air and announced that he had dissolved the Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People of Biafra which he never created, accusing them of being traitors and saboteurs and inciting the youths against them. It is more painful to observe that the Elders of Ibeku Umuahia heard and knew how their son was abusing, insulting and threatening the Elders of Igboland but did not call him to order. In all these things, men and women who should have spoken out kept quiet and clapped for the boy and said he had executed a coup d’état against the Supreme Council of Elders and taken over power!
The Group has been threatening to assassinate us for a long time. I did not worry so much when they threatened to assassinate me but it was when they threatened to assassinate Dr Dozie Ikedife (Ikenga Nnewi), that I could not bear it again. I called their lawyer, Barrister Emma Nmezu, and warned him of the consequences. I said that if they succeeded in inciting their followers to kill Dr Ikedife, it would not be a war between only Nnewi and Ibeku Umuahia but that the whole Igbo Nation would be mobilized to destroy Ibeku Umuahia. Barr Nmezu exonerated himself that he did not send any person to kill Dr Dozie Ikedife.
The Group has continued in the pathway of threatening violence. Let me publish their statements on Facebook:
“Every calamity that has ever befallen the Biafran people in the expired Lugard contraption Flora Shaw named Nigger-area (Nigeria) were perpetrated by those Igbos born outside Biafraland of dubious and questionable parentage. The list is endless right from Dr. Azikiwe to the fool called Ukpabi Asika who I am certain is in hell. Henceforth and in keeping with our oath, all saboteurs will be caught and executed. There will be no mercy, no pardon, no forgiveness. All traitors must die and so too their families. This nonsensical disease of Igbo saboteurs springing up all over the place in the name of having a different opinion on Biafra liberation will no longer be tolerated especially those who claim they are Biafrans but are supporting APC or APC candidates”. (Speaker’s name withheld).
“The best antidote to lies and deceit is TRUTH. The best antidote to treachery and sabotage is death. To all the amateur lawyers experimenting with Biafra independence in Nigeria law court and their shameless deceit your end is near. THIS IS THE PM EDITION OF RADIO BIAFRA LIVE BROADCAST OF 14 JUNE 2014 FROM ENUGU THE CAPITAL CITY OF BIAFRALAND. In this episode: Three questions Bilie APC/BHRI will never answer and which they must be pressured to provide answers are: (1) Why is Bilie APC/BHRI continuing to deceive Biafrans with a court case when there is no recorded case in history where a country got independence through legal method? Ask them to name one country that got freedoms through the courts….Say no to further deceit in the name of Biafra, join the revolution today. Without violence there will be no Biafra. No country won her freedom through legal method. This legal method rubbish is a fraud. No compromise, no retreat, no surrender. Biafra or death!” (Speaker’s name withheld)
It is clear that the Group does not believe in the legal methodology of self-determination comprising the judicial, political and diplomatic processes. The RESTRUCTURING Summit being organized today was started by Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 2012. The No 7 Prayer in our Originating Summons in the Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013 was drawn from the Memorandum of Ohanaeze Ndigbo dated 28th June 2012 as follows:
“An Order affirming the Memorandum of Ohanaeze Ndigbo dated 28th June 2012 submitted to the National Assembly for the restructuring of Nigeria into six autonomous self-governing regions, namely: South East, South West, South-South, North East, North West and North Central, as a manifestation of the Will of the People in the exercise of their right to self-determination and directing the Defendants to present an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a law granting autonomy and self-governing status to the six geopolitical regions in Nigeria; OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, in the role of the Judiciary as the last hope of the common man, an Order directing the Defendants to present an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for a law dissolving Nigeria in peace along the compatible ethnic groups instead of allowing the country to break up in bloodshed”.
This is the hot case in Court which the Defendants could not handle. Surprisingly, just as the case was listed for hearing, this same Group that does not believe in the legal methodology wrote a PETITION to the Federal Government of Nigeria, signed by Dr Clifford Iroanya and Ikenna Nwanonenyi, to destroy the case in court, cancel the certificate of Bilie Human Rights Initiative and arrest me and prosecute me for perjury and deception, alleging that I registered a secessionist movement for Biafra by deception disguised as a human rights organization called Bilie Human Rights initiative. They questioned why the Corporate Affairs Commission should register a human rights organization which turned around to fight against the Federal Government of Nigeria in court on behalf of Biafra. The Government served me with a notice to defend myself and I defended myself excellently and the case ended. The Government threw away the Petition. When the Group saw that the Government did not revoke or cancel the certificate of Bilie Human Rights Initiative, they turned to Radio Propaganda accusing the human rights organization of working for APC and President Buhari, and called it “Bilie Animal Rights”. Up to this day, the members of the Group still describe our human rights organization as “Bilie Animal Rights”.
The self-determination movement by Indigenous People of Biafra under the Supreme Council of Elders is still on course. Dr Dozie Ikedife who acts for the Chairman has consistently gathered the Biafrans together in our Town Hall Meetings by the leadership of the Administrator of the Customary Government of Biafra, Engr Tony Aniebue. The RESTRUCTURING Summit being organized by Ohanaeze Ndigbo is in line with the vision of INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA as shown in the No 7 prayer in our Originating Summons in Suit No FHC/OW/CS/192/2013. The Summit is a welcome development. The Biafrans have actually proffered the best solution to the national problem by sending the Memorandum of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to the National Assembly in 2012 to promulgate a law restructuring Nigeria into six autonomous self-governing regions so that each region would govern itself, control its own resources and develop at its own pace. This is called Devolution of Power.
I want to comment on the statement credited to Mr Emma Powerful where he was quoted as follows:
“Nnia Nwodo and his collaborators are in the liberty to call summit to sensitize and educate our people for the upcoming referendum not restructuring to remain in Nigeria”.
Obviously, by this statement, it is clear that Mr Emma Powerful is ignorant of the process of achieving a referendum. I wonder what he referred to as the “upcoming referendum”. The Group is opposed to participation in politics but are desirous of having a referendum without understanding that referendum is a political process pursuant to a Bill passed into Law by the Parliament. Ignorance is truly a disease.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has the freedom of association and freedom of assembly to hold a Summit. If Mr Emma Powerful and his members refuse to listen to good advice and allow peace to reign, the blood of any Biafran who dies in the confrontation shall be upon his head. We lost thousands of Biafran youths under MASSOB and more thousands and thousands under the Director of Radio Biafra London. I call upon all the heads of families in Biafraland, all village heads and all community heads, to warn and advise their children now. Enough blood has been shed for Biafra. Let every family in Biafraland advise its children now!
Emeka Emekesiri, Esq.
(The Vision Bearer)