The Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND) has said the opposition to a South East presidency in 2023 by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was a ploy to destabilise the region.
The group accused IPOB of working with fifth columnists to destroy the region’s plan to produce the next president in 2023.
IPOB, in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, had given reason for its refusal to support the Nigerian president of Igbo extraction, alleging that “all the people being prepared for the position are stooges that will be used against the interest of Ndigbo, Biafrans and the Biafra agitating groups.”
However, in a statement by the National President of CSEPNND, Prof. Madumere Chika and National Secretary, Mazi Anayo Uchemba, the group tasked the region’s governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other stakeholders to immediately engage the people on advocacy ahead of the polls.
Noting that IPOB’s position had really proven its earlier statement that it is being bankrolled by certain politicians from the South to scuttle Igbo’s quest for the presidency in 2023, the group asked people of the region to be vigilant, firm and decisive on what they really want and not succumb to the antics of the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and his likes.
The statement said: “The poorly circulated press release by a terrorist group under Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, published in some few national papers yesterday, expressing its refusal to support the agitation for Igbo presidency come 2023, has vindicated our stand that IPOB and its fugitive leader, Nnamdi Kanu are anti-Igbo working with some enemies of Igbo nation to thwart its chance to produce the next president of Nigeria.
“Naturally, any group working for the advancement of its people should be at the forefront of issues that would see to the realisation of their yearnings and aspirations. IPOB knows vividly well that the general feeling of the people of the South East is how the region can also be entrusted with Nigeria’s presidency. Ironically, this is not the case here with IPOB! So one would be quick to ask what really is IPOB looking for? We believe strongly that no reasonable group should kick against the progress of its own people as IPOB is currently doing.
“At this point that almost every Nigerian is clamoring for Igbo presidency, the best thing for IPOB is to embrace the move and work to its realisation if actually, it’s out to work for the betterment Igbo nation. ”
CSEPNND, while stating that desperate politicians were sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu to thwart Igbo presidency in 2023, insisted that it was time for the people to denounce IPOB and its inglorious activities entirely.
“Like we said earlier, we reiterate here that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not working for the interest of Ndigbo, rather he is being bankrolled by a certain Nigerian politician who is contesting the 2023 presidential elections from the South against the Igbos.
“We are vindicated by this unpatriotic statement by IPOB, and we call on all Ndigbo around the world to distance themselves from Kanu and his terrorist group.
“This is why we have always warned people on the character of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, that they are on a self-serving mission and not working for an Igbo agenda.
“As Igbo professionals, we wish to inform all that Kanu is alone in his cessation project and has no reasonable person behind him,” it said.
While admitting that the South East region had not had its fair share in the one Nigeria project, the Igbo group said the pursuit of an inclusive government must be channeled through appropriate lawful means.
“We cannot be demanding for president of Nigeria on one hand and on the other hand, supporting IPOB and Kanu, being financed by desperate politicians to cause disaffection in our region.
“We believe in one united Nigeria where justice and fairness reigns. We have invested so much in the nation and would not be a party to its destruction under any guise. From experience, cessation or separatist movements have never really solved the problems of nations. Rather, dialogue and engagements with all parties to address the underlying issues have often yielded positive results,” the statement added.