The lawmaker representing Imo North at the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha has questioned the motives of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying he does not know what the group is advocating for till date.
Speaking during a recent interview with The Sun, Okorocha who insisted that he did not know what IPOB is agitating for, said he would only consider joining them only if the Nnamdi Kalu-led group can convince him on why he must join the group and where it is taking the Igbos to.
Okorocha noted that IPOB is a mere distraction which cannot help the Igbos’ political development, saying the group needed reorientation instead of isolating itself from the rest of the country. His words:
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what IPOB is looking for till date. I don’t know what the agenda of IPOB are and where they are planning to take Ndigbo to.
“In the first place, IPOB is not different from other similar groups from other parts of the country, but it is just the packaging and name that have always been the problem.
“I don’t know what we plan to achieve by isolating ourselves from the rest of the country. And until IPOB answers the question, the leaders might not know how to handle it.
“When you say IPOB, are they trying to call for another sovereign nation? If they want to use this as a way of correcting certain injustices meted to the Igbo, then they should change the name to start with.
“When Oduduwa, Arewa or Niger Delta youths talk, they don’t call for a sovereign nation. For Igbo to become a country of their own, they have to think about the consequences.
“Personally, I don’t think it is good for the Igbo to become isolated from other nations and tribes in this country.
“Although the young men may have grievances, they should package them properly for the world to understand what they are fighting for.
“The leaders seem to have kept quiet for too long. Like our children, we need to build them and let them know that they cannot be talking about sovereignty within a nation.
“What programme do they have in the first place? What has IPOB done about the Igbo killed in South Africa? Is it not surprising that they have not done anything?
“I challenge all the Igbo to return from South Africa, India and other parts of the world, converge on Onitsha market and let us see what will happen.
“I don’t think the Igbo need IPOB at this point; it is rather a distraction that is not good for our political future. It might be the reason we are not doing well politically, yet we are adding more danger to it.
“They are our children; we love them and need to bring them closer. So, it is the failure of leadership in Igboland that should be blamed. We are not showing good leadership to these boys.
“They are children and look at how they attacked Ekweremadu, but how have the attack or threat to other political leaders solved the problem of Igbo in Nigeria?
“How has it corrected the problem of marginalisation of Igbo in Nigeria? They are beating up people in the name of IPOB in Owerri, Aba and other towns, but how has that solved the problem?
“I think IPOB is rather waging war against ourselves which should not be. I am looking forward to meeting with them anytime to address this issue and if they convince me, I will follow them and if I convince them, they should follow me.
“Can we have a meeting where the Igbo will meet with these IPOB, MASSOB and those other associations to find a common ground because whether they are bad, good or evil, they are our brothers, children, sons and daughters?
“I cannot lay claim that I don’t know them because they are Igbo and it is my duty to have a chat with them as a father. They must convince me on why I must join IPOB and where it is taking us to.
“I have told them to join APC because through APC, Igbo man might become president and if they have a contrary view, they can look for an alternative. IPOB needs to explain where they want to take Ndigbo to.”