The federal government has been urged to revise its proscription of the Nnamdi Kanu-led pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
Foremost constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, who made the call, also urged the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other prominent leaders to liaise with the governors of the south eastern states to pressurise the federal government to rescind the proscription order on the organisation.
Nwabueze made the disclosure during a closed-door meeting he had with the president general of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and IPOB in Ogbaru, Anambra state.
The pro-Biafran group had, in the meeting, asked the federal government to rescind the proscription order on it.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, which he described as fruitful, Nwabueze said, “IPOB’s major worry is to get the federal government to lift its proscription order on them. We have promised to liaise with the state governors to do so in a later meeting that will hold on August 8.”
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other leaders of the zone had resolved to hold a meeting with South East governors to put pressure on the federal government to lift the proscription on IPOB.”
Nwabueze, who revealed that the meeting also deliberated on the 2019 general elections and the Igbo interest in the presidency, said the South-East was not interested in the presidency of the country.
“The primary need of Ndigbo now is restructuring, not Igbo presidency. We want a restructured Nigeria; that is the only way we can get what we want and every zone would be satisfied. If Nigeria is restructured, that will go a long way to satisfy our demands.
“We don’t want Igbo presidency. As the country is today, we cannot get anything until Nigeria is restructured. We can begin to talk about Igbo presidency only when Nigeria is restructured,” he posited.
Expressing worry over the increasing rate of disunity in the country, the constitutional lawyer explained that the essence of the gathering was to make everyone understand the need for peace to reign.
His words, “Leaders can only succeed if their followers are with them. We will not be united if followers are disenchanted with the leadership. There is trouble in Nigeria; we do not know what will happen in future but we can predict and we know there is a problem.
“We love Nigeria but the leaders of the nation are not doing the right thing. We are not in control of anything in Nigeria; it is for this reason that we need to come together and be united.
“We have no control of anything in Nigeria and if we lose control of ourselves, we are finished and we will not let it happen while we are alive.”
An insider in the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that all the parties in the meeting agreed that the Igbo would not field any presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections.
“Prof. Nwabueze just consolidated on the previous peace meeting between Ohanaeze and IPOB, which held in Enugu some months back. It is necessary to consolidate on the existing peace between both groups as a way of forging a common front among the Igbo,” the source said.
Also in the meeting were a former Dean, Church of Nigeria, Most Rev Maxwell Anikwenwa, and a counsel for IPOB, Mr Aloy Ejimakor.