The Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, has reacted to a meeting between a United Nations delegation and the Ohanaeze, an Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
A UN team led by Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a special representative of Secretary General of UN, Antonio Guterres, on Thursday in Enugu met with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by its President-General, John Nwodo.
While commending the Ohanaeze on the role it played in stemming the tide of agitations, the delegation said it was worried about developments in Nigeria, particularly in the South-east. It, however, noted that it stood for a united Nigeria where human rights are respected and not trampled upon.
In a swift reaction, IPOB in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, alleged that the visit was hatched.
“We would like to use this opportunity to inform the worldwide family of IPOB and the rest of the civilised world that this purported visit from the UN never happened. In short, it is a fabricated lie designed to deceive the gullible and fool the discerning.
“The Ohanaeze hastily packaged a Ghanaian of Hausa Fulani ethnicity resident in Abuja, Ibn Mohammed Chambas, to come and hoodwink the people into believing that Antonio Guiterres, the current UN Secretary General, was in support of the cold blooded murder of unarmed civilians in Abia State.”
Mr. Powerful claimed that Mohammed Ibn Chambas was not not working for the current UN Secretary General, Antonio Guiterres, “but was appointed by a former UN Scribe, Ban Ki-Moon as his Special Representative in West Africa. ”
“IPOB Attorneys in New York have been instructed to write to the office of the Secretary General of the United Nations to seek clarifications on some of the quotes attributed to Ibn Mohammed Chambas during his purported visit to Enugu, to understand if the United Nations is now openly endorsing ethnic cleansing and genocide in Biafraland,” he added.
The Nnamdi Kanu-led separatist IPOB group is asking the Nigerian government to conduct a referendum for the realisation of a breakaway state of Biafra.
However, Mr. Kanu’s whereabouts remain unknown after clashes occurred between IPOB members and soldiers who were on a military operation in Abia State.
The federal government has proscribed IPOB and labelled it a terrorist organisation in the wake of the clash. However, the U.S. government said it does not see IPOB as a terrorist organisation, a position the Nigerian government described as ‘unfortunate’.
After over 50 years of the Nigerian Civil War, better known as the Biafra war, where thousands died, the federal government agreed to pay victims of the war N88 billion compensation for their losses.