The Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, has condemned the categorization of IPOB as a terrorist organisation and its proscription, stressing that “no amount of intimidation and accusations can restore peace in Nigeria, if the injustices and inequities that gave rise to the loss of faith in Nigeria are not addressed through an early restructuring of the polity in order to enthrone equity and justice.”
A statement by the group, endorsed by its Secretary, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, reads in full:
BLOOD ON THE NIGER, SEASON II
The long expected attempt by the Nigerian State to embark on quenching the restructuring gale currently sweeping the land, through military might, has eventually begun. Everybody in Nigeria was expecting this, because the government has run out of arguments and also because it is the only strategy government knows. Nobody is surprised.
The gentle revolution to restructure Nigeria, brilliantly piloted by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has become very successful. Restructuring Nigeria has become inevitable, thanks to Kanu and IPOB. The anger of the opponents of restructuring towards Kanu is understandable. Kanu has driven Nigeria closer to restructuring more than anybody else, therefore, lovers and defenders of the status quo want to eat him raw.
The well coordinated attack on Kanu and IPOB, packaged and choreographed from Abuja, in cahoots with his own people and complete with media support complemented by politicians who love the status quo, was actually planned for last year, but was shelved. The criminalization and blackmail of the IPOB began with the allegation of killing and burying 50 people including 5 Fulanis in Aba, which was designed to justify the intended military action of crushing the agitations through force of arms.
The deliberate decision to roll military equipment into the South East and provoke crisis is also designed towards scuttling the peace process between the IPOB and the government led by Prof Ben Nwabueze. Some people are not comfortable with that, because they believe it could lead to restructuring Nigeria which they resent intensely. Python Dance was aimed at scuttling the IPOB/government dialogue begun on 30th of August, 2017.
The pronouncement that the IPOB is a terrorist organization and thereby proscribed are all designed and choreographed to justify the discreetly agreed agenda to crush the agitation by military might in order to sustain the 1999 military constitution and the current unjust status quo, thereby postponing the restructuring of Nigeria for as long as they can.
Another reason for proscribing the IPOB and declaring them as terrorists is to reassure the South East Political Leaders that their re-election is no longer under threat, as the IPOB constituted a tsunami that had successfully mobilized the downtrodden masses against the inept political class that had compromised the future of their people through the format through which they climbed into political offices.
Because the leaders of the region got into power through questionable allegiances and subservience to external masters, they cannot publicly identify with the wishes of their people, who have been reduced to second class citizens, without offending their northern masters. They are also monitored, threatened, intimidated and seduced by the owners of Nigeria, to keep them loyal to the failed Nigeria unitary structure in order to keep their offices. Kanu remains popular by simply speaking the truth the political leaders are afraid to speak.
The unjust 1999 military constitution and unfair unitary structure it designed, is at the root of the crisis bedeviling Nigeria. Every bullet shot at Umuahia or Aba this week, was aimed at sustaining this status quo and resisting restructuring. The ongoing military action is not targeted at Kanu and IPOB but, at the restructuring breeze blowing across Nigeria and put an end to it. They know it is impossible to proscribe a movement that lives in the hearts and souls of millions; they also know that the Fulani herdsmen are the real terrorists not the IPOB.
In all these, every effort has been made by the government to avoid discussing the issues that led to the agitation because discussing them will quickly lead to restructuring Nigeria which they don’t want to happen. They rather chose to divert attention from the injustices that forced millions of citizens to lose faith in Nigeria and to desire another country, marching in their hundreds of thousands and enduring persecutions including cold blooded slaughter.
No amount of intimidation and accusations can restore peace in Nigeria, if the injustices and inequities that gave rise to the loss of faith in Nigeria are not addressed through an early restructuring of the polity in order to enthrone equity and justice. The IPOB are not armed and they are not violent. Some people are just scared of their huge crowd and want to stop them from gathering. Their popularity is continuously eroding the legitimacy of Eastern leaders.
Kanu remains the Hero of all the oppressed peoples of Nigeria in the Middle Belt, Southern Kaduna, Niger Delta, Christian minorities of the North East and North West and the long oppressed people of Eastern Nigeria (except the political leaders who live in opulence, and therefore do not really feel the pains and frustrations of the lopsided and unjust Nigerian unitary structure).
Finally, the tagging of IPOB as a terrorist group, the Villa-Directed proscribing of the IPOB and unprovoked blood letting visited on Igbo Land within the last one week is merely breeding Eastern school children towards deeper hate for Nigeria thereby preparing for a bigger war in the near future, and making it impossible for them to ever accept Nigeria. The army has just enriched the agitation with manure, we all are watching as the plant grows into an Iroko, in the weeks and months ahead.
Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko
Secretary Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA)