Amid fears that pro-Biafra agitations might deny the South East a shot at the Presidency come 2019, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, one of the groups in the forefront for secession from Nigeria, has said it would not be swayed by that argument to jettison its struggle for a Republic of Biafra.
The group emphatically described the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari would hand over to a President of Igbo extraction in 2019 as a political gimmick designed to distract Ndigbo from actualizing their demand for Biafra, insisting that they were not interested in ruling Nigeria.
Following the renewed agitation for Biafra, some political leaders in the South East argued that if allowed to fester, the rest of Nigeria may not feel comfortable with voting for an Igbo presidential candidate.
They also argued that an Igbo Presidency would silence the cries of marginalization and agitation of Biafra.
But the spokesperson for IPOB, Emma Powerful, who spoke to reporters yesterday on the issue, said those mooting the idea of an Igbo Presidency in 2019 were only trying to deceive the people into abandoning the agitation for their beloved Biafra.
He insisted that their demands remained unchanged – unconditional release of IPOB founder and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and secession from Nigeria.
The IPOB spokesperson recalled that politics of compensation emerged after the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election, to compensate the Yoruba for losing the Presidency.
He added that the same principle was what brought up the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency, to compensate the North for Boko Haram insurgency.
Powerful, however, stressed that if politics of compensation was used to favour the Yoruba in form of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency as a result of the June 12 annulment and also applied to Buhari because of insurgency, “that is their own cup of tea”.
“But for us in IPOB, we are not interested in that politics of compensation whereby we are being told that an Igbo man will become Nigeria’s president in 2019”, he added.
The IPOB spokesman stated that “All we want or are interested in is for Nigerian to release our leader, Kanu and then allow Biafra to be, and not Igbo Presidency”.