Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State has been asked by the Igbo National Council to tender an unreserved apology to the South-East geopolitical zone for allegedly calling the proscribed IPOB, Indigenous People of Biafra, a terrorist organisation.
President of the group, Chills Godsent, in a statement in Owerri, the Imo State capital, described the governor’s comment as “sad, unpatriotic and treacherous.”
The INC insisted that should the governor fail to immediately tender an “unreserved apology” to the Igbo race, “it will declare him an enemy of the Igbo race.”
Godsent said though INC did not like IPOB’s approach to self-determination “it does not mean that any reasonable Nigerian will refer to the IPOB as a terrorist group, considering the terror that Boko Haram insurgents and others have unleashed on Nigerians.”
The group said that it was unwise for Ikpeazu to have allegedly declared IPOB activists as terrorists when he had yet to condemn the activities of the Fulani herdsmen.
It argued that herdsmen had been ravaging communities’ farmlands, raping and killing people in Abia State for many years without condemnation from the Abia State Government.”
The statement read, “We have read with great disappointment, the malicious and damaging statement credited to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State saying that he will never allow the IPOB terrorists in Abia State as was published by a popular online news blog – Akelicious.net on Thursday, January 2, 2020.
“We note that it is very sad, unpatriotic and treacherous for the Governor of Abia State, Chief Okezie Ikpeazu, to make such reckless and unguided remark and statement against IPOB’s activists.
“Though the Igbo National Council is not in agreement with the method, tactics and strategies of IPOB in the struggle for self-determination, that does not mean that any reasonable Nigerian will refer to the IPOB as a terrorist group.”
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We want to remind Governor Okezie Ikpeazu that it will be foolhardy for any sensible Nigerian to refer to IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
“When the Buhari-led administration declared IPOB as a terrorist group, well-meaning nations, groups and individuals all over the world rejected it and advised Buhari to revert that decision as IPOB is noted for its non-violent approach in its agitations for self-determination.
“INC had expected Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State to declare fatwa on the pastoral herdsmen that are ravaging communities’ farmlands, raping and killing community people in Abia State for many years without condemnation from the Abia State Government.
“In view of the above, the INC therefore request Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State to immediately render an unreserved apology to the Igbo race or we will declare him an enemy of the Igbo race.”