The Supreme Council of Elders of Indigenous People Of Biafra has distanced itself from the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
Dr. Dozie Ikedife, the Deputy Chairman of IPOB’s Supreme Council, who made this disclosure at a press conference in Nnewi, Anambra State on Wednesday, said “Preachers of violence might be infants or non-existent during the 30-month Nigerian Civil War.”
Ikedife was reacting to the claims by some IPOB and MASSOB members that the groups were aligning with the Niger Delta militants as well as other militants in the country.
The elder statesman said there was no such a thing, adding that he witnessed the Civil War and saw how millions of people, especially from the South-East, were slaughtered and properties destroyed.
The ex-Ohanaeze President said, “The IPOB group I belong to is governed by the Supreme Council of Elders. There is a faction led by Nnamdi Kanu that abuses the elders, preaches violence and ethnic hatred.
“We do not believe in that. The MASSOB led by Ralph Uwazuruike from its inception preaches non-violence based on the philosophy of the late Indian leader, Mahatma Ghandi.
“If the militants have been blowing up pipelines, I don’t see how my group that has been following legal and diplomatic process will align with them. We have quite a different philosophy and modus operandi towards the issue of self-determination.
“The two factions of the IPOB and the two factions of MASSOB are all talking about self-determination of the indigenous people of Biafra. But their approach is not the same.
“The aim may be one but the method differs. We have not and cannot depart from dialogue, legal and diplomatic process and of course you know we are in court with the Federal Government over this issue of self-determination.”
On the prevailing economic hardship in Nigeria, Ikedife said, “It is a worthy sacrifice for the citizen to endure the hard living conditions now and enjoin a better future later.
He added, “I see the current hardship as darkness before the break of the daylight.
“We have now discovered that the economy was so badly managed before now that it requires some efforts, sacrifice and patience to get it right again.”