A fortnight, the Governor of Rivers State, Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, affirmed the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in his state. I have read the transcript of his statement and also watched the video. I have also read some comments by the supposed members of the IPOB and they were not smiling over that statement by Wike. Judging the statement by Wike and those of IPOB, I discovered that the two parties were emotional in their different causes.
Governor Wike was moved by emotions to make the pronouncement in order to protect his state or maybe after his security Intelligence acquinted him with carnage that happened in Oyigbo in the event of #EndSARS empasse.
No governor under the oath of a given state would allow his domain be ruined by any body or organization. No governor across the country would allow organizations such as Dey Gbam or Deywell to function. I, for one, was not saying that the ruins recorded in Oyigbo during the peak of #EndSARS were caused by IPOB.
What I had expected from the IPOB hierarchy and it’s authorities was to reach out to Wike diplomatically instead of heaping threats and insults around him. By so doing they could understand him better and operate within the ambits of the law governing the country which Wike took oath on. Rather, the IPOB members started behaving above the board by insulting Wike.
I am not holding brief for Wike nor IPOB. What I was saying is that IPOB should have not allowed emotions becloud their sense of reason when Wike made that proscription pronouncement. Wike was ready to keep an oath on the Nigerian Constitution with his last breathe as governor.
It could be recalled that he was not after IPOB alone. When COVID-19 tension was high in the country and there were lockdowns, Wike seized not only trailers and goods of some persons from a tribe in the country who disobeyed the Executive Order of the State but he also detained the persons. He didn’t care if the persons were Ikwerre, Ngwa, Ahoada, Kanuri etc. He did it to protect the oath he took to govern Rivers under the laws of Nigeria, not under the laws of anyone or organization.
I, for one, know how dangerous oath can be. This also could be what Wike was after. The IPOB was supposed to be proud of Wike because the voice that came under his throat against IPOD had never been heard before. Till recently, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu never stopped praising Wike for his kindness towards him (Kanu). So, what came over IPOB after Wike made the statement that they could not retrospect how kind he has been to any peaceful protest. It was expected of IPOB to investigate the degree of what happened in Oyigbo and come out with blueprint that will exonerate or implicate its members. It didn’t do that. Rather, emotions were released and all were calling for Wike’s head.
If Wike said Rivers State belonged to the Niger Delta, this was his conviction. He needs intellectual engagement to dissuade his mind to believe otherwise. Life shouldn’t be about insult and raising over-the-board-voice where not necessary. Mountains have risen and fallen, the sun withered, land claimed the sea, but what must be must be. So, let all and sundry keep calm. Tommorow is unpredictable and overwhelming.
Wike is needed more whether in the South-South, Southeast or Niger Delta than few irrationally aggrieved persons maybe calling for his head because he joined the Federal roadmap that Proscribed IPOB.
Proscription is not the end of any organization facing such fate like the IPOB. What any sane organization does is to rebrand when hit by controversy inlieu of giving the impression that it has the power to give life or take life.
Oct. 28 2020