A statement by the IPOB media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful said such ignorance about what IPOB stood for was the reason Nigeria could not meet the basic needs of the people, including provision and distribution of electricity and creating job opportunities for the teeming unemployed, despite the abundance of coal, palm oil, gas and crude oil in the country.
The statement specifically faulted a statement credited to a foremost Northern politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai to the effect that IPOB’s demand could result to war, arguing that it was due to such a stance that the problem of Boko Haram had persisted in the country. The statement said: “They always see civilized debate as a call to war. Such people and the values they represent can never be reconciled with the civilizing effects of genuine democracy that allows for freedom of expression.
“It is fair to assume, going by the utterances of certain corrupt segments of the Nigerian society, that most of what IPOB is saying and stands for is lost in translation because anybody with basic understanding of rudimentary English and constitutional law will know that self determination does not mean war and that referendum is not hate speech.
“We would like to use this opportunity to clarify once again that IPOB is asking for self determination as recognized in both the United Nations charter on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the African charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
“Before these Northerners threaten us with war that IPOB hasn’t called for, let them spend a bit of their valuable time acquainting themselves with these charters and declarations.
The only instrument IPOB has at its disposal is civil disobedience, which is entirely legal. Civil disobedience, it must be understood, has nothing to do with armed conflict.
“Our leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is a peaceful man that constituted IPOB with peaceful foundation and the sole aim is to liberate his people from humiliation and bondage. If some oil revenue dependent Northerners wish to misunderstand him and IPOB aims and objectives, that should be their business.”