The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s pronouncement of June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of the late Chief MKO Abiola as a Greek gift, meant to woo people of the South-west of the country.
In a statement on Sunday in Awka, Anambra State by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group urged Nigerians, especially the people of South-west, not to be deceived by the pronouncement.
IPOB described the move as cynical, saying that for President Buhari to make such pronouncement a few months to the general election, was a pointer that he was simply out to curry the favour of the people of the zone.
The group said the move was specifically designed to destroy the glowing hand shake across the Niger wherein the South-east and South-west geopolitical zones had made “formidable progress” to change the old order of northern oligarchy.
The statement read in part: “It’s a cynical move designed to truncate any East/West alliance or understanding with regards to a renegotiated Nigeria before 2019.
“Their next best move is to gain the confidence of the West in order to checkmate the rising influence of those that have come to forge an alliance strong enough to rattle the status quo.”
The group said the announcement may have also been made to undermine the serially successful May 30th sit-at-home order which comes up a day after the previous May 29th democracy day, every year.
“IPOB, it came to us as no surprise when Arewa north moved to pacify the Yorubas by declaring June 12 as the new Democracy Day.
“Our successful sit-at-home order in 2017 prompted Arewa Consultative Forum to direct their youths to issue Igbos residing in the North with a quit notice. This culminated in a brutal military invasion of the home of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“An equally devastatingly successful May 30th sit-at-home called by IPOB in 2018 has sent shockwaves to the ruling cabals that IPOB not Ohaneze Ndigbo or Igbo governors, is the true representatives of the people of the East.
“As with the clamour for restructuring, it can now also be confidently stated without fear of contradiction that this overriding need to checkmate IPOB is the sole reason behind the June 12 Democracy Day announcement by Aso Rock. A cynical move designed to truncate any East/West alliance or understanding with regards to a renegotiated Nigeria before 2019.
“We view this announcement of a posthumous award for demised leading sons of Yorubaland in Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi as another clever but desperate attempt by Arewa agents of neo-colonialism to drive a wedge between the burgeoning understanding between the East and West.”
The statement added: “Isn’t it odd that the same people that detained and killed Abiola are now cosmetically rewarding him with a posthumous presidency so close to an election year?
“The north are desperately hoping that Yorubas will once again accept this Greek gift and in turn reward them with their votes in 2019 as they did in 2015. In the process renewing for another four years the tenure of the most mediocre, barbaric, brutal, despotic, genocidal and undemocratic regime in living memory.”
It said it is however gladdened by the fact that eminent statesmen like Pa Ayo Adebanjo and others have come out to condemn the whole posthumous charade, while Obasanjo who was once their darling is now in their firing line.