IPOB meets Igbo leaders, lists conditions for peace
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) rose from a meeting with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, seeking the de-proscription of the group as a ‘terrorist’ organisation.
The group said this was part of the conditions for peace with Southeast governors and the Federal Government.
IPOB also demanded the discontinuation of criminal prosecution of their members who were arrested in various parts of the country over their agitations for Biafra and recognition of individual rights as contained in the nation’s constitution.
During the meeting at the Atani, Ogbaru Council, Anambra State residence of Nwabueze, the group also demanded compensation for all IPOB members who were killed during Operation Python Dance in the southeast and prosecution of the security men that murdered them.
The organisation further demanded an end to constant harassment and arrest of its members in any part of the country by security operatives.
It noted during the meeting that in all the prosecutions, none of its members had been found guilty or convicted for crimes, adding: “Since the Ohanaeze and Southeast governors proscribed the group, they should also de-proscribe it.”
The IPOB team, led by their German-based General Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, had staged a mild walk out on the meeting following what they described as poor presentation and acceptance of their demands by the Ohanaeze leadership.
It was, however, agreed that another meeting with the five governors of the zone would be convened in Enugu on Wednesday, August 8, where the issues would further be deliberated upon.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Nwabueze noted that the de-proscription of the organisation as a ‘terrorist’ group was key among other demands.
He stated that the ILT and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have agreed in principle to do all within their powers to ensure that the organisation was de-proscribed, adding that it would guarantee peace in Igbo land and the country in general.
Nwabueze, who stated that Ndigbo desired peace, unity and development of the country, said such was not achievable with the level of disenchantment in the land by various groups.
He said this was part of the reasons why Igbo people were pushing for the restructuring of the country, adding that should the country be restructured, agitations for secession would be checkmated.
At the briefing, attended by President General of Ohanaeze, Nnia Nwodo, Reverend Maxwell Anikwenwa and leaders of Jewish worshippers, among others, they restated that Ndigbo were not interested in producing a Nigerian president in its present political structure.