FULL REPORT: How IPOB Biafra Agitation broke into Factions to Nnamdi Kanu, Mefor and Dokubo over Control

FULL REPORT: How IPOB Biafra Agitation broke into Factions to Nnamdi Kanu, Mefor and Dokubo over Control

The factions springing up in the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra among Nnamdi Kanu, Asari Dokubo and Uche Mefor, are largely because of financial resources and control, according to a report by the SB Morgen Intelligence seen By AUTHENTIC NEWS GIANT.

The wounds in the Indigenous People of Biafra which is caused by the Resignation of Uche Mefor on the 11th of January 2021 as seen by AUTHENTIC NEWS GIANT at UK company House.

Uche mefor resignation
Uche mefor resignation

The African-focused research firm, in its March 2021 report, which focused on IPOB, revealed that the Biafran group at the moment “is seriously fractured, with many erstwhile key members now either with Mr Mefor or charting their own course.”

At a press conference on Saturday, March 13, 2021, Dokubo, a former President of the Ijaw Youth Council, and the founder of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, had said he was the Chairman of the implementation committee for a new organisation called the Biafra Customary Government.

But absent from the press conference were the representatives of the Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB, who had been vocal in the agitation in recent years.

The SB Intel report stated that Mefor, formerly Nnamdi Kanu’s deputy in IPOB, and Ralph Uwazuruike, founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, were however in attendance at Dokubo’s meeting, fuelling fresh realignments in the agitation and the sidelining of Kanu.

It said, “The absence of Mr Kanu from the meeting brings into the open a fracture within the secessionist movement in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria. Mr Mefor, Mr Uwazurike and Mr Dokubo have come together to form a ‘government’ with Mr Dokubo as chairman, Mr Mefor as Information Officer, and George Onyibe, a former top IPOB member who fell out with Mr Kanu in September 2020.

“The issue which has splintered IPOB is one of control. Mr Mefor resigned out of IPOB after a faction of the UK chapter, led by Mefor, asked for an account of funds raised.

Following that request, Kanu abolished the position of Deputy Leader (the position occupied by Mefor), but many members of the UK chapter remained loyal to Mefor who many see as a better organiser than Kanu.

Mr Mefor is also registered as the deputy director of the organisation in the UK, which means that Mr Kanu’s abolition of the position of Deputy Leader did not affect his official status.

“As the membership of the group divided behind both men, Kanu raised the stakes on 3 March when he announced the dissolution of the UK chapter of IPOB in a radio broadcast.

“All the sources we spoke to were certain that while he is nowhere near as charismatic, Mr Mefor is a far better organiser than Mr Kanu. From a Nigerian perspective, this means that he is more dangerous. Mr Dokubo aligning with Mefor probably amplifies the threat to the country’s oil economy, even though the bigger threat from the Niger Delta remains Government ‘Tompolo’ Ekpemukpolo.”

The report noted that the Mefor group aligning with Dokubo would have a stronger effect on the southern region, “with the Niger Delta militants able to respond in kind to any provocations by Nigerian security forces.”

“Uche Mefor, like Ralph Uwazurike, believes in non-violent agitation and the lobbying of world powers to achieve an aim that they believe the entire region that comprised the defunct state of Biafra subscribes to. This is in stark contrast with the actions of IPOB’s paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network, which is operated by the faction of IPOB loyal to Kanu.

“Mefor’s non-violent approach is likely to gain him more support amongst the Igbo middle class who are afraid of a repeat of the scorched earth kind of war that was fought 50 years ago. Most of those who may support the Mefor group are those especially turned off by Kanu’s abrasive tactics which have earned him more enemies in high places both within South-East Nigeria and without,” the report added.

Here is the FULL REPORT: DISCORD AT SUNRISE What does the split in IPOB mean?

At a press conference on Saturday, 13 March 2021, a coalition of pro-Biafra groups announced Asari Dokubo, a former president of the Ijaw Youth Council, and the founder of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, as the chairman of the implementation committee for a new organisation called the Biafra Customary Government.

Noticeably absent from the press conference was any representative of Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which has for some years, been the preeminent secessionist group campaigning for the restoration of Biafra, the separatist enclave that was the centre of Nigeria’s civil war between 1967 and 1970. However, Uche Mefor, formerly Nnamdi Kanu’s deputy in IPOB, and Ralph Uwazuruike, founder of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), which was the first organised pro-Biafra movement in post-civil war Nigeria, were in attendance.

The absence of Mr Kanu from the meeting brings into the open a fracture within the secessionist movement in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria. Mr Mefor, Mr Uwazurike and Mr Dokubo have come together to form a “government” with Mr Dokubo as chairman, Mr Mefor as Information Officer, and George Onyibe (a former top IPOB member who fell out with Mr Kanu in September 2020) also a member of the executive.

The issue which has splintered IPOB is one of control and money. Mr Kanu forced Mr Mefor out of IPOB after a faction of the UK chapter, led by Mefor, asked for an account of funds raised. Following that request, Kanu abolished the position of Deputy Leader (the position occupied by Mefor), but many members of the UK chapter remained loyal to Mefor who many see as a better organiser than Kanu. Mr Mefor is also registered as the deputy director of the organisation in the UK, which means that Mr Kanu’s abolition of the position of Deputy Leader did not affect his official status.

As the membership of the group divided behind both men, Kanu raised the stakes on 3 March when he announced the dissolution of the UK chapter of IPOB in a radio broadcast.

All the sources we spoke to were certain that while he is nowhere near as charismatic, Mr Mefor is a far better organiser than Mr Kanu. From a Nigerian perspective, this means that he is more dangerous. Mr Dokubo aligning with Mefor probably amplifies the threat to the country’s oil economy, even though the bigger threat from the Niger Delta remains Government “Tompolo” Ekpemukpolo.

The involvement of Asari-Dokubo as chairman of the implementation committee for the customary government, strongly suggests that the Mefor camp realises that their aims cannot be achieved without the original provinces in the Biafran state, or in other words, four states of Nigeria’s current South-South geopolitical zone. In his remarks accepting the role, Mr Dokubo called on the 20 provinces of the original Biafran state to join the ‘walk to freedom’.

From the standpoint of numbers and acceptability, a bigger tent could increase the leverage of the Mefor group, with Niger Delta militants able to respond in kind to any provocations by Nigerian security forces. Indeed, time and time again, the government has shown that this is the only kind of language it understands. The real problem for the Mefor camp is the strong anti-Igbo sentiment in the South-South, a situation that Asari Dokubo does not have the clout to reverse, even though he still retains some measure of respect due to his contributions to the Niger Delta struggle.

On a personal level, Asari-Dokubo’s involvement should not come as a surprise. He has always fancied himself a revolutionary, and a littleknown fact about him is that he has Igbo lineage on the paternal side. However, his involvement does not significantly increase the likelihood of support for Biafra growing in the South-South, as multiple respondents made clear that fears of “Igbo domination” are still very strong in the region.

Uche Mefor, like Ralph Uwazurike, believes in non-violent agitation and the lobbying of world powers to achieve an aim that they believe the entire region that comprised the defunct state of Biafra subscribes to.

This is in stark contrast with the actions of IPOB’s paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), which is operated by the faction of IPOB loyal to Kanu. The ESN has engaged the Nigerian security forces in gun battles and forced the military to deploy helicopter gunships to Orlu, in Imo State. Just last week, Hope Uzodinma, the governor of Imo State, claimed that the ESN was originally conceived as a regional security network, much like Amotekun in the South West. However, the hijacking of the concept by Kanu’s IPOB has forced the South Eastern governors to abandon the name.

Mr Mefor’s non-violent approach is likely to gain him more support amongst the Igbo middle class who are afraid of a repeat of the scorched earth kind of war that was fought 50 years ago. Most of those who may support the Mefor group are those especially turned off by Kanu’s abrasive tactics which have earned him more enemies in high places both within South-East Nigeria and without.

Kanu, uncharacteristically, has not mentioned Mr Mefor’s name since the fallout between them happened last year but constantly attacks Asari Dokubo and Mr Uwazuruike during his broadcasts. It remains to be seen how he will respond to this new movement headed by people he considers enemies.

IPOB at the moment is seriously fractured, with many erstwhile key members now either with Mr Mefor or charting their own course. Mr Kanu is presently believed to be operating out of the United States, where a new bank account was recently unveiled, ostensibly to collect contributions for ESN.

In the end, the challenge for this Dokubo – Mefor alliance is to create a narrative that can somehow unite the various ethnic groups of the South-East and South-South, by leaning into the very real injustices – both past and ongoing – that both regions have suffered. Whether it will be enough remains to be seen.

 

Biafra: Asari Dokubo, Uche Mefor Can NEVER Attain Nnamdi Kanu’s God-Like Status

A former militant in the Niger Delta region, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo on Sunday announced himself as the leader of the new Biafra de facto Customary Government, citing “injustice and marginalisation” on the Igbo people found in various zones of the country as the reason for his aspiring for a “better life for his people”.

According to a press statement released on Sunday, Dokubo named Alphonsus Uche Okafor-Mefor as Head of Information and Communication of the new Biafra; George Onyibe as Secretary; and Emeka Esiri as the officer in charge of its legal matters.

While Dokubo is not a new name when it comes to pro-Biafra activism, thing is, no matter how hard he tries, he is not as infectious as Nnamdi Kanu, the diaspora-based leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

This is also applicable to Mefor, the estranged Deputy-Leader of IPOB.

Asari-Dokubo and Mefor’s latest collaboration is nothing but an association of disgruntled rivals of Kanu. Recall Asari-Dokubo in June 2020, openly declared that he ‘cannot work with Nnamdi Kanu because of his divisive tendencies’. He labelled Kanu an idiot.

Broadcasts on Biafra Human Rights Radio by Mefor have been met with disapproval.

This writer monitored Mefor’s recent broadcasts and discovered that many commenters on his page posit that the UK-based activist does not have the personality of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu – whom he is rugby-tackling.

To be candid, Mefor lacks the charisma of Kanu – by a mile. His addresses are drab.

Mefor’s standpoint as it concerns the Biafra struggle might be appropriate, but what you do not have, you cannot give.

Kanu, 53, made a special broadcast last December where he formally announced the formation of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), and Biafra apologists followed his orders without reservation.

Unlike Asari-Dokubo and Mefor, Nnamdi Kanu is worshipped by many Biafra supporters

Kanu, over time, has attained a god-like status and commands a cult-followership of irate, easily angered individuals who make up the IPOB group.

The Abia-born activist indeed has an infectious personality.

Kanu – though controversial and arguably toxic – has been praised for his sharp wit and intellect.

Many believe that is the reason he commands such humongous respect from his devotees who literally worship him.

Kanu has been campaigning for an independent state called Biafra in south-eastern Nigeria.

In 2015, Kanu was charged by the Nigerian government with “criminal conspiracy, intimidation and membership of an illegal organisation” – charges that could amount to treason.

Who really is Nnamdi Kanu?

Nnamdi Kanu was a relatively obscure figure until 2009 when he started Radio Biafra, a station that called for an independent state for the Igbo people and is broadcast to Nigeria from London.

Though he grew up in Nigeria’s south-east and went to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Kanu moved to the UK before graduating.

Soon after setting up IPOB in 2014, he spoke to gatherings of the large Igbo diaspora, calling for Biafran independence.

Kanu is currently facing charges bordering on treasonable felony instituted against him in response to years of campaign for the independent Republic of Biafra through IPOB.

After being arrested and detained for more than 19 months without trial on treason charges, he was granted bail in April 2017 for health reasons but skipped his bail after reportedly flouting all the conditions given to him by the court.

Owing to his absence in court at a time, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court (FHC), Abuja, the judge who granted him bail, revoked it and ordered that he should be arrested.

But Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor argued that he left the country due to the invasion of his family’s residence in Abia state by soldiers during a military exercise.

Despite the court’s insistence on his appearance, the IPOB leader has remained abroad, and once said he jumped bail to pursue the cause of Biafra.

“Their problem is Nnamdi Kanu and the solution to their problem is referendum. They gave me conditional bail to cage me and IPOB, but I refused,” he had said during a broadcast.

Biafra today

The Nigerian civil war ended in January 1970 with the surrender of the Republic of Biafra, which dissolved and was reincorporated into Nigeria. The federal government’s “no victor, no vanquished policy” was promoted to foster national unity.

But today, the pro-Biafra movement is back and louder than ever.

Dozens of pro-Biafra activists have been arrested in cities across southeastern Nigeria.

Nigerian federal government officials say the country must remain united.

“They say that secession is the answer to the charges of marginalisation,” said Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo during a Biafra civil forum in 2017 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“Brothers and sisters, permit me to differ and to suggest that we’re greater together than apart.”

Many Biafrans say Nigeria has failed them, identifying themselves rather as Biafrans.

 

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