From Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
THE main reasons behind last Friday’s proscription of the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) by the South-east governors have emerged.
Sunday Sun gathered that the increasing gulf between opinion leaders from the zone and the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB weeks before the ongoing crackdown on the group by the military is one of the reasons.
The military is currently staging Operation Python Dance II in the South-east. The operation has attracted mixed reactions with Ohanaeze Ndigbo deploring it and calling on the military to withdraw its personnel from the zone. However, a serving senator from the zone disclosed to Sunday Sun in confidence that, “IPOB no longer listen to anybody but themselves.”
He explained that IPOB leaders had distanced themselves from those who worked to effect the release of Kanu from prison on bail. He disclosed that various efforts made by leaders of the zone to strike a deal with Kanu ahead of the South-east Governors’ meeting in Enugu last week were snubbed.
Beyond that, it was learnt that moves by the South-east caucus in the National Assembly to discuss with Kanu was rebuffed by the IPOB leader and his henchmen. It was also gathered that the caucus had reached out to Kanu and IPOB urging them to back down on their insistence that a referendum must be held, as the 1999 Constitution does not provide for that, but the IPOB leader didn’t budge but rather maintained that the United Nations should be made to come and conduct the referendum.
“The IPOB was actually getting involved in all manner of things that started endangering the peace of the people of South-east. The governors and leaders had no choice than to seek for the proscription,” the source disclosed.
Another source told Sunday Sun that members of the IPOB had already started threatening politicians in the region with rejection in 2019. The source said that such politicians were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the influence and control of youths by IPOB.
To this end, some politicians in the zone were said to have promised huge sums of money to the group to win their support against would be opponents in 2019.
Sunday Sun also learnt that the governors feared that their inability to contain IPOB might lead to the declaration of a state of emergency in their states.
According to the source, the declaration of a state of emergency would have swept the affected governors out of office and made blight their political journey.
He said: “The leaders believe that the situation became tight with the deployment of the military. Though some of them believed that the police could have handled the matter, the deployment of the military was already a source of danger and threat to peace.” He stressed that the intransigence of Kanu on so many issues the governors initiated to ensure peace forced them to proscribe the activities of IPOB. (The Sun)