Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Dave Umahi has alleged that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) dishes out messages of fear and killings in the region.
The governor said this is unlike its counterpart, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), which he described as non-violent.
The governor further described the idea behind the agitation for Biafra as madness, saying South-East elites do not want secession but to be treated fairly and equitably in the country.
Umahi stated this while speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme on Wednesday.
The governor said, “The separatist groups, we know of IPOB, we know of MASSOB. MASSOB has never been violent and they are approachable and they tend to reason with us but these other people, IPOB; their command is never in the country and every one of them stays out and dishes out messages of bitterness and messages of threats and fear and killings and are not here with us to feel the pains.
“So, these are just the two groups that I can talk about but I fear that if IPOB does not call their people to order and stop these threats and killings and all that, other groups will rise up to counter it but there is no way South-East would be grounded, there is no way South-East will be sitting at home while other parts of the country will be doing businesses whereas we are the people that should be moving because we earn our living by moving.”
Umahi vowed that the sit-at-home protest declared by IPOB in support of its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, will be scuttled with adequate security in the region.
Kanu has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since June 2021 after he was arrested and repatriated to Nigeria from Kenya.
Describing the agitation for secession by IPOB and MASSOB as “madness,” Umahi said, “Meanwhile, every elite in South-East is not desirous of Biafra, we don’t want Biafra; we want to be treated equally like other regions in Nigeria.
“So, this idea of Biafra, Biafra is madness and we have said, ‘No’, we don’t want Biafra."
“If we go our separate ways, South-East people will lose a lot because we’ve invested a lot in every part of this nation. It is not to our advantage to leave our investment and walk away,” he added.