An Igbo socio-cultural group has blamed the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra of brainwashing the youths to go on a suicide mission against the military.
Recall that some members of the group and soldiers had clashed in Umuahia, the state capital, near the residence of the IPOB leader with several persons reportedly died and many others injured.
The development forced the state government to declare three days of curfew across the state.
Reacting to the incident, SERG called on Igbo leaders of thought not to tarry further in doing the needful before to arrest the impending war.
Speaking at a press conference on September 13, 2017, the National President of the group, Charles Mbani, lamented that from his discovery, the IPOB youths have been brainwashed into seeing the army as the enemy.
“You must have, like other Nigerians, watched recent events in Igboland with a sense of foreboding, concern and utmost dread.
Images emerging from the southeast, our homeland, are as troubling as they are worrisome with the most recent being those of youths attacking military detachment with all manners of crude weapons including catapults, cudgels, machetes, sticks, and others.
These youths are being put up to this mischief after being brainwashed by the so called Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB], which is now militarizing them as its fighting force.
These misguided youths have been deceived into thinking they are making the right sacrifice of protecting Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader, whereas the only thing they are sacrificing are their lives that they are throwing that away on the altar of ignorance.
The soldiers attacked by these uncouth elements are the ones taking part in Egwu Eke II [Operation Python Dance II], which we find ridiculous considering that the same operation last year ensured that kidnappers and armed robbers that were desecrating our land were curtailed to a point where Igbos enjoyed peaceful 2016 Yuletide.
We are therefore wondering if there is a nexus between IPOB and the crimes being eradicated by the military for its youths to become virulent on the scale being witnessed.”
Speaking further, the SERG leader condemned the confrontation with the military in the strongest terms as irresponsible, barbaric and has no place in a pluralistic country like Nigeria.
“We urge other well meaning elders of our land to join in condemning the incidents. The unnecessary attempt to provoke the military into using guns to address the Biafra issue would be catastrophic and those who love the region should do so well to warn their children from setting region ablaze.
May we emphasize that Igbo leaders of thought must tarry no further in doing the needful before it's too late. The conspiracy of silence on the part of these leaders is what has made Nnamdi Kanu fill the resulting vacuum as a demagogic evil that is leading our youth population astray.
This disposition of indifference was displayed as the hate speech championed by Kanu gained momentum until it got to a point where other ethnic groups in Nigeria basically developed a morbid collective disdain for the Igbo.
The hate speech has now crystallized and is the bedrock of the aggression being exhibited against the military. If nothing urgent is done, the next phase in this ugly evolution could threaten our existence as a people.
We have interrogated the situation and discovered that the IPOB youths have been brainwashed into seeing the army as the enemy, which is most unfortunate since the person whom they think they are defending is their real enemy.
Nnamdi Kanu holds dual citizenship and will escape to the United Kingdom once he has the opportunity to flee across the border. He is going to leave behind broken bodies and damaged youths that would have destroyed their lives in pursuit of what is meaningless relative to contemporary world reality.”
The group further noted that some of those sponsoring the growing violence in the southeastern Nigeria are those who lost money and political relevance having placed their bets in favour of former President Goodluck Jonathan being re-elected.
“Interestingly, Jonathan has moved on but these losers remained locked in the past and think their only access to redemption is to send our youths on a suicide mission.
We counsel such persons to desist forthwith for the Igbo nation is larger than the mess of pottage that they are bitter over.
We have also noted the role of shameless politicians in Igboland that see the madness being advocated by Nnamdi Kanu as something to be milked for political capital.
We have in the recent days, seen such politicians rushing to tacitly endorse violence as the answer when other ethnic nationalities are pushing for restructuring.
If violence is activated as being advocated, they forget that our land would burn while other parts of the country would continue with their life,” Mbani concluded.