From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha, Petrus Obi, Enugu and Obinna Odogwu, Ekwulobia
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB),has alleged leader of Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), Chief Raphael Uwazuruike was working with Hausa Fulani Islamic Jihadists and has betrayed the struggle for restoration of a Biafra state.
The group said the four-day ultimatum given to Uwazuruike to provide evidence to support his claim that IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu and members were ‘fraudsters who are out to deceive gullible people’ has elapsed and described him as a ‘big fraudster without certificate.’
A statement signed by IPOB deputy leader, Mr. Alphonsus Uche Okafor-Mefor and spokespersons of the group, Mr. Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya said Uwazuruike wanted to damage IPOB’s global posture and that of its leader by impugning his and its collective integrity.
The statement read: “Like the Hausa Fulani Islamic Jihadists he is now working for, Uwazuruike peddled false allegation and definitely has no evidence to substantiate it. Anybody who has been privileged to listen to Kanu preach his gospel of Biafra restoration on Radio Biafra, or any of his numerous press interviews, will know that only few people alive, today, can be said to be his equal or match intellectually…Uwazuruike should provide the public with the name of the university where he studied law and at least two names of his former classmates at the university. We would like to know a title of Uwazuruike’s thesis and the name of his supervising professor. Uwazuruike should provide the public with his Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) enrolment number since he claims to be a lawyer.
“From all indications, Uwazuruike is the person that does not have any certificate and therefore, a fraudster. Had Uwazuruike remained faithful to the cause of Biafra restoration and not engrossed in defrauding and deceiving unsuspecting Biafrans, Kanu and IPOB would not have emerged,” IPOB stated.
As the rift between the Uwazuruike- led Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) otherwise known as Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) and IPOB, led by Kanu deepens, the former yesterday vowed to stop the chieftains of the later from entering into Biafran land.
Making this disclosure after rising from a closed door general meeting of BIM held in Okpoko, Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, the convener of the meeting and Nnewi North Regional Administrator of BIM, Emmanuel Omenka, said IPOB is a toothless bull dog with empty threats.
“IPOB gave Uwazuruike a four-day ultimatum to prove his innocence against the allegation he (Uwazuruike) levelled against Kanu and the ultimatum has since elapsed without heaven falling.
“It is an empty threat; they are cowards and do not have an office. They only make noise at newspaper stands and on pages of newspapers,” Omenka stated.
Meanwhile, MASSOB has called on world bodies to come to the aid of a pro-Biafra activist, Lotachukwu Okolie who has been in detention in Norway for four years.
In a statement issued in Enugu, yesterday, MASSOB leader Uchenna Madu said Okolie, the group’s coordinator in Norway, is going through hell in the hands of the Norwegian police who have frustrated several moves to hand him over to Nigeria.
The MASSOB leader noted that Okolie has spent more than 18 months in Trandum Deportation Prison in Norway and that he was first arrested on January 19, 2015, after some series of protests and call for his release.
“He was later released on March 13, 2015 after the Nigeria embassy visited Stockholm. Sweden declined issuing traveling documents to deport him because of some diplomatic interference.
“Before his arrest Okolie, on August 29, 2014 led Biafra delegates to a meeting with Norwegian government in Oslo, represented by the Norwegian Parliament which has been acknowledged via a written letter to MASSOB. He has also led several peaceful non- violent demonstrations and public functions, even some diplomatic meetings in Oslo, Norway for furtherance of Biafra actualisation and restoration with official permit of Norwegian police.”
“On June 11, 2015, about 50 Norwegian police officers came to his house to deport him forcefully but he refused, preferring to die than be handed over to Nigeria DSS. He suddenly stabbed himself with a sharp kitchen knife in his stomach to help end his life but God kept him alive.
“After spending 7 days in the hospital with major operation, they took him back to deportation prison (Trandum Deportation Prison) with the injury and pain. Again, after several protests and media outburst by MASSOB and other international interventions against Okolie’s detention by Norwegian police in collaboration with Nigeria secret police (DSS), he was released again on October 29, 2016 after completing the Norwegian lawful stipulated 18 months detention without trial.
“Surprisingly, on November 23, 2016, Okolie was again re-arrested to the same prison but after some diplomatic interventions and acknowledgement, he was later released on November 25, 2016.
“Today, he is being persecuted, intimidated and traumatised by the Norwegian police working hand in hand with Nigeria DSS to frustrate his lawful moves to get asylum in Norway.
“MASSOB is calling for the quick intervention of Human Rights Organisations including Amnesty International, European Union, World Council of Churches and Norwegian Association for Asylum to come to his aid.” (The Sun)