-For some years now, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been on the forefront in the struggle for the creation of a sovereign state.
-With the absence of Nnamdi Kanu, its leader, during the time of Operation Python Dance, as well as the branding of the group as a terrorist organization, many believe the end is near for the group.
-But in this email interview with TheCable, Emma Powerful, spokesman of IPOB, said contrary to such belief, the group is more formidable now than it has ever been.
He also spoke on a variety of issues including what has become of IPOB in Kanu’s absence, if the group would accept an option to dialogue with the federal government, the newly launched Hausa radio service as well as what a sovereign state of Biafra will look like.
TheCable: Some people find it difficult to believe that IPOB leaders do not know where Nnamdi Kanu is, can you convince us that you do not know Kanu’s whereabouts?
Powerful: Those that find it difficult to believe that the leadership of IPOB does not know where our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is are the same people that feign ignorance of the fact that the army invaded his residence. They are the same people that failed to hear Defence Minister General Mansur Dan Ali confirm on Channels TV during an interview that Nigerian government sent soldiers to invade the home of our leader and to capture him. Every right-thinking person knows the army went to kill Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on the 14th of September 2017 because there can never be any other plausible explanation as to why the army will truncate an ongoing judicial process by doing the work of the police. The question all right-thinking people should ask the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) is this; is it the duty of the army to be running round in armoured tanks looking for the enemies of Buhari to arrest? Nigerian Army, for those who might still be feigning ignorance of the fact, does not have the constitutional right to arrest anybody. Whenever soldiers arrest and molest people, as they normally do in Nigeria, they are breaking the law. That is what the Abdulsalami Abubakar 1999 Constitution says. But in Nigeria, law enforcement agencies and even the law courts don’t know what the constitution says. They are ignorant of their own laws. Those that invaded our leader’s residence went there to kill him his family and parents, or else they would have waited for him to appear in court on the 17th of October 2017. Buratai and his army are in the best position to answer any question regarding the whereabouts of our leader, especially at this time everybody, including non-Biafrans, are missing his inspirational leadership.
TheCable: Since the Python Dance operation, not much has been heard of the group regarding the Biafra agitation, does this mean the government has succeeded in weakening IPOB?
Powerful: Where did this patently false impression come from that IPOB has been weakened? Weakened in what way? If the media fails to carry to our news to your audience, then the “misleading” narrative peddled by Lai Mohammed and Nnia Nwodo that IPOB has been weakened, may be sustained in the minds of the gullible. But the truth remains that IPOB is more formidable now than ever. Despite the draconian and brutal crackdown on us, we have continued to hold rallies and protests. New IPOB family units are springing up all over the world. We successfully rallied in Onitsha before the successful boycott of Anambra governorship election. We also rallied in Aba on January 20, 2018 in remembrance of those killed last year during President Trump’s inauguration rally in Igweocha. Indiscriminate arrest, illegal detention and harassment of IPOB members have continued unabated. We stopped the treacherous Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership led by Nnia Nwodo in Lagos and also at Enugu during the ‘Handshake across the Niger’ event. Nobody born of a woman can weaken IPOB.
TheCable: Can you tell us the main idea behind the launch of Hausa radio service, do you think the government will let the station fly?
Powerful: Hausa Service of Radio Nigeria, mind you not Radio Biafra, was launched in response to the failed attempt by the Department of State Service (DSS) to infiltrate and destroy IPOB from within. The Nigerian government created a parallel radio station which we have since renamed Radio Buhari International to reflect its true ownership. They proceeded to launch another radio on a shortwave frequency with our sacred name. Both stations are based in the US. They named a non-existent person the leader of the great IPOB and claimed our leader and founder Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been replaced by this nonentity. It was at this point we decided late last year to launch a Hausa language service to take our unique enlightenment to oppressed ethnic minorities in the north because no enlightened society can swallow such junk. There is quality information deficit across the north which this Hausa radio service run by IPOB will address.
TheCable: While some of your followers and members have welcomed the launch of a Hausa radio service, some Nigerians see it as a coy to gain the sympathy of the north. Why the choice of Hausa when there are other languages around the south-east? Why not any language from the south-south?
Powerful: We chose the Hausa language because the majority of those at the receiving end of the falsehood propagated by the cabals in the north are their fellow core northerners. Educating the down-trodden masses of the north to understand the evil being committed in their name is important the most important assignment today. We are convinced that mass illiteracy and lack of access to unbiased information is the reason why a majority of Hausa Fulani people live in abject poverty and ignorance while their ruling class loot and accumulate all the wealth accruing to them.