Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC has disclosed that it was President Mohammadu Buhari who made the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, popular in Nigeria and in the international talk.
According to Ogbonnia, who aspired to be Nigeria President in the 2019 general election, President Buhari disavowed his oath of office by deploying the worst form of political vendetta against the Eastern Nigeria for the simple reason that the people voted en masse for their native son (Goodluck Johnathan) in 2015 elections.
“This apparent warpath heightened a call for secession and the tacit support given by the East to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu. After all, different forms of Biafran movements had existed in every administration in the current Fourth Republic, from Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, to Jonathan.”
Ogbonnia said that instead of dialogue, as accorded other dissident groups, including even the Boko Haram, President Buhari isolated the crisis as an Igbo palaver and thence pounced on the IPOB with brute force.
“I quickly admonished the President that his move was nothing but a scheme to rekindle the zeitgeist of the Biafran war—hoping to regain his waning popularity within our party and the nation at large. There I reminded him that the Nigeria of 1967 is not the Nigeria of today.
“Yet, General Buhari did not listen. Rather, he declared the Biafran activists as terrorists. It is worth saying, however, that while the president was busy crushing the Biafran activists with land army, he gleefully condoned the deadly Fulani herdsmen, an organization recognized worldwide as a terrorist group since 2014.
“It didn’t take long before a legion of Nigerians in the Diaspora, some of who may not necessarily subscribe to the style or visions of IPOB but are conscious of the scale of injustice in the homeland, were provoked to unleash a worldwide campaign that sufficiently painted Buhari as a dictator and bigot.
And the world took note! The toll of the IPOB crisis on national economy, particularly with foreign investment, is well chronicled,” Ogbonnia recalled.
He said that days were gone when the Nigerian government can preach justice abroad, while promoting injustice at home, adding that the inconvenient truth is that the country now boasts of millions of independent ambassadors, strategically entrenched in all the nooks and crannies of the world, who tell it as it is.
“Some of these Diaspora Nigerians have also become Biblical Josephs of sort and thus play influential roles in the nation’s foreign exchange, foreign trade, foreign investment, the media, as well as other socio-economic relationships.
“Needless to remind us that the same Josephs are the leading block contributors to the yearly amount of foreign money remitted to Nigeria, which is ironically more than the national budget. As they go, so goes the national image and much more.”