…IPOB will be welcomed back to the fold, says Nwodo
The pro-Biafra pressure group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has pledged their loyalty to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo as they on Tuesday as its officials came came peacefully to the National executive Council (NEC) meeting of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to express their loyalty.
They further sought the protection of the umbrella body of all Igbo socio-cultural organizations.
The IPOB leaders, Mazi Benjamin Madubugwu and Barrister Ejimakor, described Chief Nnia Nwodo as an undisputed Igbo leader who, like a hero, would always be sought after in times of war.
They pleaded with Ohanaeze Ndigbo to assist it work towards the de-proscription of IPOB.
The leader of IPOB, Kanu, had consistently accused Chief Nwodo of working against the interest of his group and the Igbos. Earlier this year, Kanu ordered his followers to stone Nwodo to death anywhere they see him but withdrew the order following virulent condemnations.
The IPOB delegation said their visit was in continuation of the rapport reached with Ohanaeze at the Anambra State reconciliation meeting.
The IPOB leaders said that Chief Nwodo remains the undisputed leader of Ndigbo and expressed happiness with his fatherly disposition and fight for the Igbo “in a country where Ndigbo were highly marginalised notwithstanding their contribution to the building of the Nigerian nation.”
Mazi Madubugwu said that IPOB was not a terrorist organization, stating that some issues credited to the IPOB leader, Nazi Nnamdi Kanu are most often distorted and misinterpreted.
He assured that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was always available for discussions with Chief Nwodo on matters concerning the Igbo.
Also speaking, another leader of IPOB, Barrister Ejimakor, said that Chief Nwodo has the clout and charisma to help IPOB out of its present predicament, adding that he was happy that the gap hitherto existing between IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo had been bridged for a united voice for Ndigbo in Nigeria.
Responding, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, welcomed the IPOB leaders, reassuring them that he was always ready to accept his children back into the fold no matter their earlier recalcitrance.
The President General stated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo had no quarrel with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and that he believed that whatever evil machinations of detractors has come to nought with the recent reapproachment between the two groups.
Chief Nwodo prayed that this latest development should be the opening of the door for mutual cooperation between IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and urged IPOB to also share views with Mr Tony Nnadi whom he said was working towards the same objective as IPOB.
The President General called on Mazi Kanu to change his tactics of abuse and belligerence as a step towards building bridges for Ndigbo in the country.
Chief Nwodo reiterated that both IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo share in the same cause of fighting to emancipate Ndigbo and give them a lease of life and sense of fairness in the country but differ in the methodology or approach towards the realization of the objective.
He stated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo still believes in dialogue and the restructuring of the country for an inclusive participation in the Nigeria project.
In another development, members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo NEC who attended the Enugu meeting on Tuesday at the same venue passed a vote of confidence on the leadership qualities of Chief Nnia Nwodo led Ohanaeze, saying that his administration has taken the organization to laudable heights.
A motion to the effect was moved by the Anambra state President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,Chief Damian Okeke,seconded by Deputy National legal adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,Chief Okeagu Ogada, and without any counter motion was unanimously adopted by all the NEC members present at the meeting.
The President of Enugu state chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,the host state, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, in a chat thereafter extolled the outcome of the meeting as very good one for the Igbo nation.
He gave kudos to the President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for accepting to welcome back IPOB into the fold of the organization.
He expressed gratitude to members of Ohanaeze NEC for unanimously passing a vote of confidences on Chief Nwodo led national leadership of the organization.