The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has accused the founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and Mr. Chijioke Mbaneri from Enugu State of conspiring with the Federal Government and the Department of State Services (DSS) to testify against the group’s leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
A statement issued yesterday by IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, accused Uwazuruike and some elements in the South-East of working in tandem with President Muhammadu Buhari and the DSS to undermine Kanu.
The statement reads: “The IPOB intelligence unit across the country uncovered plans and names of those to be used by the Federal Government to testify against our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“IPOB had announced the coaching of a Ghanaian and Cameroonian inside the DSS facility at VGC Abuja before the DSS changed tactics to use Chief Raphael Uwazuruike, the leader of MASSOB/ BIM and the said Mr. Chijioke Mbaneri.
“To buttress our point, Uwazuruike and others have been in contact with the DSS headquarters in Owerri and Abuja to perfect this heinous crime against humanity, but right now they are in Abuja to consolidate the whole arrangement to testify against the people of Biafra and Kanu.
“We are, therefore, calling on everybody, Biafrans all over the world to call Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Mr. Chijioke Mbaneri and their associates to order.”
But in a swift reaction, Uwazuruike, at a press conference in Owerri, dismissed the allegations and described them as “idiotic, stupid and laughable.”
“The modern day Biafra is my initiative; I started it in 1999 and since that time, I have been on the struggle. Our late leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu gave me the franchise and I am the leader of the Biafran struggle today.
Any other person involved in the struggle is working on my behalf,” Uwazuruike said. Explaining that Kanu was too inconsequential for him to testify against, Uwazuruike described the detained IPOB leader as an ingrate.
According to him, Kanu was homeless when he met him in London and gave him the first money to rent an apartment after he was allegedly thrown out by the Ghanaian woman he was living with.
Nwazuruike said: “When I met him (Kanu) in London, he had no job, no certificate and had no genuine interest in the Biafran struggle. So who is Nnamdi Kanu? It is you journalists that are packaging him as somebody, if not, he is a nobody.
The struggle continues to be alive as long as I agree. Even if Nnamdi Kanu dies today, the struggle continues. I cannot travel to Abuja to give evidence against Kanu masked. If I want to do that, I will testify against him in an open court, but I can’t do that.
What do I stand to gain? “When I founded MASSOB in 1999 and started the struggle for Biafra, no Igbo man could summon the courage to mention Biafra; it was then considered as a taboo.
Our people were cowards and could not mention Biafra until I started.
When I started, nobody gave me a chance. I went through the hurdles alone. So, Nnamdi Kanu is not the first Igbo to be tried for treason; I also stood before the same judge handling his case for the same charge of treason. So, he should face his trial like a freedom fighter and, if need be, pay the price for the struggle.”