© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
IPOB explains reason for attacking Ekeremadu, marks others for ‘humiliation’
THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has explained that its attack against former deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu was because he was part of those who ‘instigated’ Operation Python Dance.
The lawmaker, representing Enugu West senatorial district, was on Saturday assaulted at the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nürnberg. He had been invited as a keynote speaker. Released footage of the incident shows Ekweremadu, dressed in the traditional Isiagu attire, hurriedly leaving the venue in a vehicle as others threw objects at him.
Radio Biafra, operated by IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu, had tweeted that he was “seriously questioned and accused of conspiring with Nigeria government in proscribing and killings of hundreds of unarmed IPOB family members”.
In a press statement released on Sunday by IPOB spokesperson Emma Powerful, the group further explained that the assault was in compliance with a long-standing instruction by the IPOB leader to “hound all instigators of Operation Python Dance”.
“IPOB is glad to report that Ike Ekweremadu was confronted and duly hounded out of a so-called New Yam Festival event in Germany,” he said.
“Despite repeated warnings to the organisers of these jamborees that Enugu, Ebonyi and other parts of Biafraland is under siege by Fulani caliphate and their collaborators within, they went ahead to invite a known traitor, co-conspirator and one of those that worked with Igbo governors to proscribe and tag IPOB a terror organisation while they never raised any voice against murderous Fulani herdsmen.”
IPOB also warned other Igbo leaders to expect similar treatments abroad from its members. These include John Nnia Nwodo, former minister and 9th President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo; and Willie Obiano, Dave Umahi, and Okezie Ikpeazu, respectively governors of Anambra, Ebonyi, and Abia states.
“Any day we find them in a public event abroad, they will be humiliated. IPOB is strategically located in over 100 countries around the world. Anywhere we find them, they will be dealt with,” IPOB alerted.
Ekweramadu, in his statement yesterday, however, defended himself against allegations of disloyalty. According to him, he is one of the persons who has “spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere”.
He added that he has as well “rallied the South-East Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East.”
Checks by The ICIR, however, showed that the senator participated in 2017 meeting held by the South-East Governors Forum where a ban of IPOB activities was proposed.
“All activities of IPOB are hereby proscribed,” the forum had stated as the first of 11 resolutions.
“IPOB and all other aggrieved groups are to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the committee of Governors of South East, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and National Assembly members from South-East zone through the Chairman of South-East Governors Forum.”