THE proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Wednesday sought the help of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in getting its ban by the Federal Government lifted.
To consolidate on a peace accord reached by IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the group’s leadership visited the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the highest Igbo socio-cultural organisation during its monthly meeting.
Led by one of its principal officers, Mazi Benjamin Madubugwu, IPOB said they came to follow up on the reconciliation meeting held in Anambra State on July 14.
Madubugwu cited an Igbo proverb that no matter how much a warrior is derided, he is always sought after when there is an outbreak of war.
He said Ohanaeze President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, remains the undisputed leader of Ndigbo, noting his fatherly disposition and fight for the region’s cause.
The IPOB leader said Ndigbo were highly marginalised notwithstanding their contribution to the country.
Insisting that IPOB was not a terrorist organisation, he said the group was given a bad name to hang it.
Madubugwu said most of what IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu said or did were coloured by the information he had, which he said were sometimes distorted.
He assured that Kanu was always available for discussions with Nwodo on matters concerning the Igbo.
Another IPOB leader, Alloy Ejimakor, a lawyer, said Nwodo has the clout and charisma to help IPOB out of its predicament.
Nwodo said he had forgiven any wrong IPOB may have done him or Ohanaeze.
He recalled efforts he made to establish an amicable and complementary relationship with IPOB since assuming office, but which he said were frustrated by Kanu.
He said Ohanaeze had no quarrel with the group and expressed hope for continued mutual cooperation.
The President-General urged Kanu to change his tactics of abuse and belligerence as a step towards building bridges for Ndigbo in the country.
Nwodo reiterated that both IPOB and Ohanaeze share in the same cause of fighting to emancipate Ndigbo and give them a lease of life and sense of fairness, but differ in their approaches.
He restated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes in dialogue and the restructuring of the country for inclusive participation in the Nigerian project.
Members of Ohanaeze NEC passed a vote of confidence on Nwodo during the meeting.
Moving a motion, the Anambra State President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, extolled Nwodo’s unequalled leadership in the past three and a half years.
He said Nwodo has been cerebral, articulate and unrelenting in his fight for the advancement of the fortunes of the Igbo.
He recounted Nwodo’s almost war-like tenure, during which he steered the organisation’s affairs with the dexterity of a general.
Seconding the motion, the Deputy National Legal Adviser, Chief Okeagu Ogadah, identified openess and transparency as Nwodo’s outstanding qualities.
These, he said, reflected in his judicious and accountable disbursement of Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s meagre resources.
Nwodo said he was humbled and disarmed by the overwhelming endorsement of his leadership.
He thanked the NEC for the confidence reposed in him and assured that as his administration winds down, he would redouble his efforts to leave lasting legacies for Ndigbo.