The Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of Elders of the pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB), Dr. Dozie Ikedife has accused the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB of abusing elders, preaching violence and promoting ethnic hatred, whereas the elders council is for peace and progress of the region.
He said: “preachers of violence might be infants or nonexistent during the 30 months of Nigerian civil war…”
This was even as he disowned the Niger Delta Avengers and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and their policies and focus.
Dr. Ikedife, who spoke to news men in Nnewi, Anambra state was reacting to the claims by some IPOB and MASSOB members that the groups were aligning with the Niger Delta Avengers and other militants.
The elder statesman said that he witnessed the Biafra war from the beginning to the end and saw how millions of people, especially from the South East were slaughtered and property worth billions of pounds destroyed because of the struggle for self determination.
Dr. Ikedife who was the former President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, said that nobody in his right senses would talk about a repeat of the pogrom which inflicted untold pains and sorrows to nearly every family in the land. He insisted that he would not in any way support any form of war because according to him, any life lost would never be replaced.
“The IPOB group I belong to is governed by the Supreme Council of Elders. There is a faction led by Nnamdi Kanu that abuses the elders, preaches violence and ethnic hatred.
“We do not believe in that. The MASSOB led by Ralph Uwazuruike from inception preaches non violence based on non violence philosophy of the former Indian Prime Minister, Mahatma Ghandi.
“If the militants have been blowing up pipelines, I don’t see how my group that has been following legal and diplomatic process will align with them. We have quite a different philosophy and modus operandi towards the issue of self determination.
“The two factions of the Indigenous People of Biafra and two factions of MASSOB are all talking about self determination of the indigenous people of Biafra. But their approach is not the same.
“The aim may be one but the method differs. We have not and cannot depart from dialogue, legal and diplomatic process and of course you know we are in court with the Federal Government over this issue of self determination.”
He said that the question of blowing up pipelines might be a way of calling for attention but certainly not the best approach, and that his group should be counted out of it, if violence was made the only way out.
On the prevailing economic hardship in Nigeria, Ikedife said he had surveyed the scenario and came to the conclusion that it was a worthy sacrifice to endure the hard living condition now for a better future for the citizens.
He said that a lot of things went wrong previously in the management of the economy which he noted required patience for the economy to be fixed.
“I see the current hardship as darkness before the break of the daylight. We have now discovered that the economy was so badly managed before now that it requires some efforts, sacrifice and patience to get it right again.” [myad]