Biafra: Ohanaeze begs Clark over IPOB outburst

By AdvocateNews on 25/07/2021

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Chief Edwin Clark
Chief Edwin Clark

The Igbo apex socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Saturday apologised to the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) over the outburst of the proscribed indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on its National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

The separatist group had on Friday blasted Clark for declaring that the Niger Delta should be counted out of Biafra.

Spokesman of the group, Emma Powerful, in the controversial remark, dismissed Clark as a general without foot soldiers and one who lacked authority to speak for the people of the zone.

Alarmed by the comment against its leader, PANDEF  Saturday described IPOB’s remark as “idiotic”, asking the leadership of the Igbo nation to denounce the statement by IPOB, and “tender a public apology to the elder statesman, and, indeed, the entire Niger Delta people, in the interest of healthy relations between the Southeast and the South-south zones.”

Responding to PANDEF’s demand in an interview with one of our correspondents Saturday, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Hon. Alex Ogbonnia, denounced the IPOB statement, saying that it did not enjoy the support of Igbo leaders and elders.

Ogbonnia said: “All over the world, there is a fundamental difference between the youths and the elderly.  The youths are characterised sometimes by a certain level of impetuosity and exuberance. That is the characteristics of the youths all over the world. It is not limited to the Igbo.

“As for the elderly, our role is to continue to condition them, advise them, guide them and by God’s grace, sometimes they listen.

“Coming to the remark by IPOB to our elder statesman for that matter, it doesn’t take the support of the elderly family of the Igbo.

“Ohanaeze is not in support of such remarks. We condemn such remarks vehemently, and we are asking Chief Clark to forgive, to understand that we still look at him as our leader in the southern and Middle Belt Forum.

“Our respect and regard for him is very, very much intact. We are also adding that fair enough, he has youths in the South-south who also cannot be exempted from the IPOB’s youthful exuberance.

“We urge the IPOB and our Igbo brothers that the struggle we are into now is one that requires inter –ethnic relation and collaboration.

“To that extent, you need other ethnic groups to carry on with whatever agitation we have. To begin to rubbish the leaders of other ethnic groups or elder statesmen is not really in the interest of the Igbo anyway.”

He went on to stress the need for the Ndigbo to have mutual relationships with other ethnic groups.  “Whether Biafra or no Biafra, Igbo must still have to relate with the South-south and other parts of Nigeria. The location of Igbo is constant as far as this world is concerned.

“We are already located in a place and our location demands that we relate very well with Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Benue, Ijaw, Igala and all parts of Nigeria."

PANDEF, in a statement issued yesterday by its National Chairman and former Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, described as “idiotic” and “foolhardy” the statement credited to the spokesman of the outlawed group, Emma Powerful, against Chief Edwin Clark.

Essien said: “The preposterous expressions in the said article could only have emanated from deluded and demented minds, and are quite indicative of the silliness of the IPOB officialdom.

“It is a shame that they cannot differentiate between fact and fantasy. This stupidity would erode any sympathy they had hitherto received from the South-south geopolitical zone.

“Let us restate, without any equivocation, that the Niger Delta Region is not part of Biafra, and that no inch of the South-south geopolitical zone shall be part of any imagined “Republic”.

“It’s rather puerile for IPOB or any other group to consider that Niger Delta region would be part of any arbitrary contraption.

“If it becomes necessary for the Niger Delta people to pull out of this country, we shall do so on our terms.”

Posted 25/07/2021 07:15:17 AM


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