An Igbo group, Voice from the East (VEAST), yesterday in Enugu pleaded with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to use the opportunity of its ongoing meeting in the United States of America (USA) to mount pressure of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the terrorist tag on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The group, in a statement signed by its convener, Comrade Kindness Jonah, stated that the invitation extended to the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, by the European Parliament, is evident that the group is championing self-determination.
“We have been inundated with the outcome of the invitation of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to address the European Parliament on the issue of Biafra. Many have expressed reservations on the invitation by the body on somebody that the Nigerian Government tagged ‘a terrorist’.
VEAST pointed out that the terrorist tag on IPOB by Buhari–led government when juxtaposed with the invitation and Nkanu’s landmark address had been “rubbished”.
Commenting further, Jonah queried: “How can a leader of a terrorist ‘group’ be invited to address such a body like the European Parliament, yet, the Nigerian government calls it a terrorist group?
Speaking sarcastically, he said: “IPOB is a terrorist group, but European Parliament invited it; killer herdsmen are aberrantly killing but are not terrorist group, yet, they could not be invited, and Boko Haram, a ‘co- terrorist group’ with IPOB could not be invited.
“Nigeria by this episodic invitation has been pragmatically presented as a Hobbesian state and theatre of absurdities. These two ideologies are irreconcilable.”
As if invitation by European Parliament was not enough, stressed Comrade Jonah, United Nations Special Committee of the General Assembly has invited Nnamdi Kanu, the first Nigerian to be so honoured, to speak on Biafra issues as did the European Parliament, the group claimed.
“VEAST is, therefore, calling on UN to prevail on President Muhammadu Bihari to remove the terrorist tag on IPOB and dialogue with the group like they are doing with bandits, killer herdsmen and kidnappers in the North,” he said.
The group said it has come to the firm conclusion that “semantics of a religious order and not stubborn facts was squarely responsible for the fiendish tag of a terrorist group on IPOB by the government”.
Comrade Jonah called on the Federal Government to unconditionally cancel the unfounded terrorist tag on IPOB and perfectly restructure Nigeria if it ever thought of stopping Biafra agitation.