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Biafra: Arthur Nwankwo blasts IPOB faction, turns down appointment as negotiator with FG

By Boniface Okoro on 01/09/2016

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Chancellor of Eastern Mandate Union (EMU), Dr Arthur Nwankwo, has denied any links with the purported breakaway faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Reformed Indigenous People of Biafra (RE-IPOB).

While dissociating himself Wednesday from the secessionist group, which listed him as one of its negotiators with the Federal Government, Nwankwo, a former Presidential candidate of the Peoples Mandate Party, stated categorically that he neither belongs to RE-IPOB nor any other group and lampooned the “amorphous group” for including his name as a member of its negotiating team, an action he described as “absolutely scandalous.”

“The statement credited to an amorphous, breakaway group from the IPOB, called RE-IPOB gave the impression that I am in league with it. I consider the association of my name to this type of self-serving group absolutely scandalous, ridiculous and totally unacceptable,” the prominent Igbo leader and activist fumed in a statement he wired from his Enugu base.

RE-IPOB, which claims to be a breakaway faction of the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB had listed eminent Nigerians of the Southern extraction as members of its negotiating team with the federal government.

Others included in their list, aside from Dr. Nwankwo, are Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, former Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Victor Attah, Dr. Uche Azikiwe, wife of late president, Nnamdi Azikiwe, among others.

But in a swift response after the list was made public, Nwankwo in the statement which he personally endorsed, ordered RE-IPOB to retract the publication.

 “I have nothing whatsoever to do with this group or any other group, for that matter. My position on the state of Nigeria is not ambiguous.

“I have relentlessly canvassed a thorough restructuring of this country where all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria would come to a round table to negotiate their existence,” the former NADECO member said, adding “the Igbo nation has not mandated any person or group to negotiate for it.”

“I therefore dissociate myself completely from the RE-IPOB and demand an immediate retraction of my name from their press release to avoid unpleasant consequences,” he warned.

The Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB, which is locally and internationally recognized has already dismissed the so-called RE-IPOB and other similar factions as a creation of the Federal Government and the Department of State Service (DSS) to undermine the agitation for Biafra self-determination.

Meanwhile, the Igbo Women Assembly (IWA) led by Chief Maria Okwor says it has concluded plans to honour the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, for his “ability to put his enemies in disarray.”

The group said the award slated for this month (September) was in collaboration with four other civil society organizations, namely Igbo Traders Association (ITA), Igbo Students Union) and South East Christian Network (SECN).

The IWA leader said that Kanu has demonstrated that he is a great man by “frustrating and putting the federal government in disarray” hence the desperation to counter him and IPOB by all means.

The group condemned the resort by the authorities and their collaborators to undermine the genuine effort by IPOB to end the “rapacious impunity” that has confined some ethnic nationalities as second class Nigerians and elevated others as first class and born-to-rule.

•Photo shows Dr Arthur Nwankwo.

Source News Express

Posted 01/09/2016 05:25:50 AM


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