The fratricidal war of words between leaders of the two foremost Biafra agitation groups, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, founder of Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), which was rekindled earlier in the week, has gotten messier.
Kanu had berated Uwazuruike for allegedly taking the issue of Biafra to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in The Hague, Netherlands; a move he said was belittling as several Igbo groups had taken Biafra’s matter to United Nations which was a far more recognized body.
The IPOB leader’s statement drew the anger of Uwazuruike who through the national director of information of MASSOB, Sunny Okoroafor took a swipe at Kanu, describing him as a man not qualified to speak about the Biafran struggle or attack Uwazuruike.
“Where was Nnamdi Kanu when Chief Ralph Uwazuruike started the struggle for Biafra? One thing is clear; Uwazuruike was the first man in this new struggle to hoist Biafra flag in the international arena. MASSOB founded by Uwazuruike to which Nnamdi Kanu was a member set out stages for the struggle and that is what the MASSOB founder is following religiously.” Continuing, Uwazurike said, “If the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu is talkin about the struggle for Biafra, he should first of all come back home and not to stay outside to make noise. He should not be afraid of imprisonment after all, Nelson Mandela was in prison in South Africa for 27 years, he did not run away or abandoned his people. Nnamdi Kanu should come down home and fight for the freedom of his people.”
The MASSOB director of information said it was the height of irresponsibility for anybody to accuse Uwazuruike of giving bribe to allow Biafra membership of UNPO. “We are not corrupt in MASSOB and therefore will not be accused of giving bribe to anybody or group so that Biafra could be a member of UNPO. If Kanu thinks we should be at loggerheads with our neighbours because we are fighting for Biafra, he should be joking. MASSOB has come a long way with the Biafra struggle and we will not allow anybody to distract us”, Okoroafor said.
Kanu however is not allowing Uwazuruike’s taunt, speaking through his group’s publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, the IPOB leader described Uwazuruike as a jester.
“We don’t normally respond to what Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and group say because they are inconsequential. Uwazuruike I must tell you does not know what freedom fighting is all about. If not, he should have known that in freedom fighting, it’s either you are in prison or in exile or you are dead. Those are the three things that happen to a freedom fighter, either he is in prison talking about freedom, in exile still talking about freedom or they kill you”. Going further, Powerful said, “Uwazuruike should be told in clear terms that Moses ran away when the Egyptians were after his life and at the end he led the people of Israel out of Egypt to the promised land. That our leader, Nnamdi Kanu being outside the country does not mean he is a coward, he is there preparing the coming of the new nation and the new nation is about to come and Uwazuruike is there playing to the gallery. That he is registering our Biafra in UNPO, is making jest of himself”.