THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, may be heading for a showdown over the former’s order to the Igbo to observe another ‘sit-at-home’ on May 30, 2018 in commemoration of those who lost their lives during the bloody 30-month civil war on Biafra’s side. Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, has issued a counter directive, urging people of the South-east geo-political zone to ignore IPOB’s order and go about their normal businesses on that day. The Anambra South zonal leader of BIM, Chief Tony Nwodo, who made the counter-declaration in Onitsha, Anambra State, argued that the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB did not possess such power to order the people of the South-east and other Igbo speaking areas to sit at home. “If such an order will be issued out (sic), it will come from the founder and leader of BIM and Ezeigbo Gburugburu, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike,” Nwodo argued. According to him, “IPOB is not the mouth-piece of the Igbo nation and such an order is meant only for its members and not for the Igbo. All IPOB has been saying in the newspapers, social media and radio through its Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, are lies, null and void and of no effect,” he further claimed. “IPOB members are not even freedom fighters but mere frustrated group of dissidents formerly under Chief Uwazuruike’s leadership but sacked over anti-BIM activities. It is that violent attitude which they possessed and were displaying then that earned them the sack as BIM members and they went and formed IPOB, led by Nnamdi Kanu,” he said. “We did not say in our own declaration of Biafra Day, being 22nd May 2018, that the people should sit-at-home but rather, we urged them to join us in the celebration of re-declaration of Biafra Day at Aba, Abia state by Chief Ralph Uwazuruike 18 years ego” Nwodo also used the opportunity to urge the Igbo to “team up with members of BIM in the celebration of ‘Biafra Day’ on May 22, stressing that there will be no sit-at-home as ordered by IPOB” and that “everybody will be free to go about their legitimate businesses that day”. IPOB leadership is yet to respond to the salvo fired by the BIM leader and their threat to pull the plug on the planned sit-at-home in commemoration of Biafran heroes on May 30, as at press time.
We won’t be part of May 22 anniversary—MASSOB
MASSOB, yesterday disassociated itself from the purported celebration of 51st anniversary of Biafra on May 22nd as chosen by BIM. The leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu stressed that the group had no intention or plan to observe the anniversary celebration on any other date except on May 30th as it is sacrosanct and sacred to the history and lives of Biafrans. In a statement issued in Abakaliki, the leader of MASSOB added that “BIM’s arrangement to observe Biafra on May 22 instead of May 30th was deceiving, distorting and taunting of the sacred name of Biafra and an astute disobedience to the ordinances of late General Chukwemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.