- Says IPOB U.S.-based Legal Adviser who made the call to protest does not understand the peculiar Nigerian environment
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has asked female supporters of the Biafran struggle for independence to ignore the call by the U.S.-based IPOB legal adviser, Mr. Bruce Fein, to embark on protest in Abuja, saying that it would be undertaking “unnecessary risk” which fails to take the Nigerian environment into consideration.
Accusing the IPOB legal adviser of overstepping his bounds in issuing the order, the group Spokesperson, Emma Powerful, said adhering to such directive “will only expose our women to avoidable dangers and harm.”
Powerful said such protesters could under the present circumstances be “suicide mission” as they could be “termed terrorists and shot on sight.”
The Spokesperson therefore advised Bruce Fein “to stay off IPOB administrative matters and concentrate on his legal representation.”
The full statement reads: “Following the opinion of USA based IPOB legal adviser Mr. Bruce Fein, asking IPOB women to embark on a street protest in Abuja, we the global movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi KANU wish to completely disassociate from such opinion and instruct Biafran women to please ignore such opinion and avoid the unnecessary risk. We, wish to state also that Bruce Fein overstepped his bounds as IPOB legal adviser in issuing such directive which will only expose our women to avoidable dangers and harm.
“Bruce Fein is our legal adviser and not IPOB Spokesperson. He does not quite understand that the version of Democracy operational in Nigeria is different from the real Democracy being practised in the US where he resides.
“In the US, protests are part and a common feature of Democracy and protesters enjoy protection from security agencies. But maybe unknown to him, in Nigeria, protesters are termed terrorists and shot on sight. To protest in Nigeria, particularly under the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, is a suicide mission.
“IPOB will not advise Biafra women to hit the streets for any protest now because their safety is not guaranteed. We have lost a lot of innocent souls in the past protests and the international community watched without any intervention.
“Therefore, we won’t allow more people to be sent to their untimely grave by wicked security operatives in Nigeria who run away from terrorists and Fulani bandits in the North but shamelessly show their might when it has to do with unarmed agitators of self determination in the South.
“We understand the concern of Mr Bruce Fein but we advise him to restrict himself strictly to providing legal services to our Movement, and refrain from dishing out unapproved directives to Biafrans. Such overzealousness could be counter productive because we operate in a peculiar and very difficult environment.
“We have done a lot of protests in the past and a lot of innocent Biafrans were killed in cold blood by security agencies. We do not want a repeat of that again.
“We, therefore, urge all Biafrans to please ignore such directive from Bruce Fein, and any other of such directive not emanating from IPOB Spokesman and communicated through our proper channels of information dissemination.
“IPOB has her well equipped, perfectly organized, functional and rapid response leadership (the DOS), Spokesperson’s office as well as legal department through which such directive ought to have been delivered other than through Sahara reporters as claimed in their publication. Biafrans do not obey non verified rumours nor directives not emanating through the appropriate channel.
“Biafran women would never obey any orders no matter how important nor highly the office through which it is issued especially when it is not within the purview of responsibility of the personality issuing such directive. Directives for IPOB women and Biafrans to embark on outdoor activities which includes protest goes through certain processes before such an exercise is implemented because we understand this part of the world better.
“Such directives are usually considered and evaluated before execution and it can only be delivered to IPOB women or family members directly through the IPOB leadership via a memo, Radio Biafra broadcast and or through the office of the media and publicity secretary and spokesperson Emma Powerful or HDOS and not through Bruce Fein. IPOB is not a movement where anybody will wake up and start issuing directives. We are embedded on a very firm ideological based foundation and rooted in an unshakeable Structure. Everyone knows that Bruce Fein is IPOB’s International legal adviser and not a decision making officer in the Directorate of State of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“It would be of our collective best interest if Bruce Fein will concentrate on his job and desist from meddling into Biafraland related matters and areas outside the purview of his brief. Bruce Fein is aware that we have some of the best lawyers here in Biafraland but they never issue orders or directives in IPOB but profer only legal advice when necessary. Bruce Fein is advised to stay off IPOB administrative matters and concentrate on his legal representation.”