The Ebonyi State gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Prof. Benard Ifeanyi Odoh, has called on authorities in Nigeria to give room for an “open, genuine and altruistic” dialogue with members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other pro-Biafra groups.
Newsbreak.ng reports that Odoh who declared his gubernatorial intention in respect of 2023, at a press conference held in Abakaliki on Thursday said any Igbo man that says IPOB’s grievances are irrelevant is an ‘Efulefu’ (foolish person). IPOB — like many Igbos — has always complained of marginalization against Ndigbo.
“To the leaders and followers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), our strongly held view is that we will not shun them or cast them out into the wilderness.
“Any Igbo man or woman who pretends that the grievances of IPOB adherents are irrelevant or that Ebonyi is an isolated island unconcerned about those central issues is what Igbo people call efulefu or ohu. An avenue of dialogue must not just be created but remain open, genuine and altruistic until the case is solved and closed,” Prof Benard said.
IPOB is a banned separatist group. The organization, founded by Nnamdi Kanu in 2012, is attempting to revive the now defunct Republic of Biafra, a declaration of independence which led to a 30-month civil war between 1967 and 1970.
More than one million people, mostly Igbo, were killed in the fighting or by starvation and disease.