They say things go wrong when good people keep silent. This is why we think the recent press release issued by law makers of Imo State House of Assembly, is good although belated. The release dated June 5th and signed by Hon Engr Duru Iheonukara Johnson, Chairman House Committee on Information, spoke on the scary security situation in the state. It correctly identified the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), called for calm, advised the youth and urged stakeholders to dialogue in the interest of peace.
A popular proverb says that when you want to hang a dog you first give it a bad name. This is to justify the deed and neutralize the effect. Undoubtedly, IPOB is going through a similar experience.
As far as we know the group is displeased with the continuous suppression of Ndigbo and wants self determination. Unlike, Boko Haram, another group of angry people but born in the North, IPOB has no religious motive or plan to “dip the Bible into any ocean”. It does not seek to steal, kill, destroy, conquer or take over the whole Nigeria and rule it. IPOB is just tired of the South-East being treated as second class citizens in a country where everyone is supposedly equal. The world calls the likes of IPOB “agitators” or “separatist group” but the Federal Government calls IPOB “terrorists” and proscribed it.
On the other hand, Boko Haram, an offshoot of the Islamic State Isis, described by the civilized world and global community as “The third most dreaded terrorist organization in the world,” has no derogatory word attached to it, neither is it proscribed by the Nigerian Government.
Nigerians and the world know what mayhem Boko Haram is causing in the North, Borno State in particular. Recently, it took over parts of Niger State and hoisted its flag. In fact, President Buhari was voted into power to crush Boko Haram and free Nigeria. But to the Buhari Government, Boko Haram is not a terrorist organization but IPOB is. Little wonder the battle against the terrorist Boko Haram has not been won. Government is romancing with them, as bandits, Fulani herdsmen et cetera and clamping down on IPOB looking for justice.
The world is aware of the duplicity. We can tell from their actions and media reports. But some of our people are unaware of the double standard of the Federal Government and that is why we find the press release of the Imo State House of Assembly apt. .
In the release, IMHA said they “have it on good authority that IPOB and the ESN to our knowledge and understanding are not organizations founded on the principles of violence and armed insurrection, rather advocates of Igbo liberation and security through peaceful, non-violent means.”
They said what is happening in Imo is politically motivated. This agrees with an earlier statement by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
Let the Federal Government chew on that.