The Indigenous People of Biafra has said that the lives, investments and property of the people of southeastern Nigeria are already threatened, and that the outlawed group is only trying to salvage what is left.

IPOB said this in response to a statement credited to an Igbo elder statesman and businessman, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, that IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and its followers were endangering the Igbo through their actions.

Iwuanyanwu, on Sunday, said this while speaking at the occasion of the award conferred on him by the leadership of the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) as its grand patron in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

He lamented, “Igbo youths must avoid circumstances that they do not understand. What IPOB did during the #ENDSARS protests was very heinous. Their leader went about taking responsibility for issues and destructions they knew nothing about.

“He also ordered his followers to kill some people in Igboland. If you give orders for another person to be killed in your place, don’t be surprised that your people will be killed also. There is no place in Nigeria that you can’t find an Igbo man. So, ordering the killing of anyone in your community is endangering your people. Apart from the fact that most of our population live outside Igboland, Igbo investment outside Igboland is worth over $2 trillion.”

Responding to Iwuanyanwu’s statement, IPOB through its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, described the utterances as reckless.

He said, “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the shameful and cowardly statement credited to a shameless self-acclaimed Igbo elder called Chief Emmanual Iwuanyawu that ‘IPOB is endangering Ndigbo and their investment in Nigeria’. Such a reckless statement simply smacks of his ignorance of the real genesis of the danger to Igbo investments in Nigeria.”

“In case he doesn't know, the current crop of Igbo youths are wise enough to identify true Igbo elders, and Iwuanyanwu is not anywhere close on the list. His chameleonic tricks can no longer work under the current dispensation.

“We are not surprised at such loose and careless remarks coming from a supposed elder like Iwuanyanwu who has always taken political advantage of every matter. He is only after protecting his questionable wealth and investment, and certainly not speaking for Igbo interest,” he added.

IPOB also ridiculed the valuation made by the Peoples Democratic Party’s chieftain that Igbo investments were worth more than $12 trillion worldwide, saying he should make his findings next time before coming to the public.  

He continued, “We advise Iwuanyanwu to stop advertising his ignorance of global economics by giving fake analysis of Igbo investments in Nigeria. We are aware, and it's a public knowledge that the economic power of 54 African countries will come to $26 trillion by the year 2056.

“With these verifiable statistics, one then wonders where 'Elder' Iwuanyanwu is getting his fake claims that Igbo investments in Nigeria are already worth over $12 trillion. Therefore, Emmanuel Iwuanyawu must get his records straight before coming out in public to make unverified analysis about Igbo economic power.

“Besides, no matter the amount of investment Ndigbo have in Nigeria, nothing guarantees its safety under the current political structure of the country. In case Iwuanyanwu and his likes do not know, Ndigbo have remained the most endangered species in Nigeria. Their business interests and investment have remained the target of every evil policy in the country.”

Powerful in his statement also urged Iwuanyanwu to learn from the current elite from the South-West as they have recently supported a pro-Oduduwa Republic campaigner, Sunday Igboho, over his seven-day ultimatum to Fulani herders to leave an area in Oyo State.

He said Iwuanyanwu should give that kind of support to IPOB.

“Our advice to self-overrated elders like Iwuanyanwu is to travel to Yorubaland and learn how real elders comport themselves. Let them see how Yoruba elite, intellectuals and elders alike have all rallied round their activist, Sunday Ighoho, in his ongoing face-off with Fulani herdsmen.

“It is gladdening to note that Yoruba intellectuals are not saying 'Sunday Igboho is endangering the lives of Yoruba people' by expelling the Fulani herdsmen from their bushes.

“They know that the greatest danger facing them is allowing armed conscienceless men to occupy their bushes.

“Pathetically, it is only in the South-East/South-South that politicians will employ the services of young unemployed graduates, both men and women, to be writing to fool people on how standing to protect one's lands is endangering the lives of the people.

“Regrettably, some of these misguided fellows parading themselves as Igbo elders and elite are even praising Sunday, while casting aspersions on the fact that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is protecting Biafrans. Iwuanyanwu and his fellow traitors should stop being petty. The youths won't fall for their tricks anymore.”

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