An aspirant for the 2019 Imo State gubernatorial election, Chief Robert Opara, has condemned the recent invasion by soldiers of the home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, leading to an alleged killing of one of his loyalist.
Reports have it that soldiers deployed in the Southeast under the ongoing security exercise code-named “egwu eke” (python dance) invaded the Afaraukwu, Umuahia, Abia State home of Kanu in an attempt to arrest him.
Chief Opara described the invasion as “an act of provocation and show of obnoxious impunity” while condemning it and calling for the immediate withdrawal of the soldiers. He frowned at the military exercise contending that it “will escalate the tensions between IPOB members, the deployed soldiers and the federal government at a critical time when October 1 is looming large in the psyche of Southeast people with the quit notice handed out by the Arewa Youths purportedly aided on and supported by leaders and some governors of the northern region.”
The governorship hopeful argued that if President Buhari could sit and negotiate with Boko Haram there is no reason such gesture should not be extended to IPOB and other interest groups in the Southwest and the Niger Delta.
“This blackmail, intimidation and threats will never work. My candid advice to the federal government is to abort plans to arrest Nnamdi Kanu as his arrest under any guise may lead to dire and unforeseeable consequences that may threaten the unity of the country,” he asserted.
Chief Robert Opara called on the leadership of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Southeast governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives from the region to as a matter of urgency enter into “strategic discussion with the federal government and IPOB at this stage to avert potential bloodshed in our land.” He noted that the critical issue at the moment is to protect the Igbos living in the north, urging that “No harm should come to the Igbos by October 1st and beyond. Such potential genocide must be averted by the security agencies. The result of such actions will be catastrophic to us as a country.”
Opara recalled that the country voted massively for President Buhari in a show of goodwill and trust that was unparalleled in Nigeria’s electoral history, arguing that such “level of confidence must be reciprocated by this government to ameliorate the long suffering of the Nigerian people. Our development indices under this government are scoring a legendary low at the moment. This makes it a nonsensical grandstanding on the part of the Buharists to heat up the polity with Buhari’s 2019 presidential election narratives.”
The gubernatorial aspirant appealed for the current military crackdown in the Southeast to “be substituted with governance”, urging President Buhari to jettison the biased advice of the Southeast APC executives and ministers from the region “whose advice on the matter will be driven by their pecuniary interests.”
“Finally, I call on the European Union in Nigeria and the UN to stop acting like an accident waiting to happen and proactively mediate on both sides of the government and IPOB leadership bearing in mind the unfortunate Nigeria-Biafra consequences,” Chief Opara advocated.