Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday, backed out of the planned talks between the secessionist group and the South-East Governors Forum.
The IPOB leader had met with the governors at the Enugu State Government House on August 30, and both parties agreed to hold further talks to seek an amicable resolution to the issues raised by the pro-Biafran group.
Another meeting was scheduled to hold between Kanu and the governors on Friday, September 15, but, in a statement he personally signed, which was made available to journalists, the IPOB leader said he would no longer continue with the talks.
He blamed the development on an alleged plot by soldiers to assassinate him while on his way to the meeting with the governors.
He also alleged that he was currently attending to his injured and bereaved followers, who had allegedly fallen victim to attacks by the military in the course of the ongoing Operation Python Dance 2, started by the Nigerian Army in the South-East.
Kanu, in the statement, hinted that the leaders of the IPOB intended to meet to vote on whether to drop their non-violent approach, and instead, use force to confront the Nigerian Army.
Parts of the statement read, “In view of the concerted effort by the oppressive Nigerian state to shatter the peace and tranquillity of the South-East and the rest of Biafraland through military intimidation, it has become necessary for me to clarify why, regrettably, I may not be able to attend Friday’s meeting with the South-East governors as earlier agreed, for three main reasons.
“We are currently busy attending to our dead and injured from this latest round of unprovoked military onslaught against innocent civilians in our own land. All the casualties so far were shot by men of the Nigerian Army deployed in my house and those stationed along motorways leading into Umuahia, my hometown.
“I have been reliably informed also that a detachment of this same soldiers, responsible for the murder of innocent unarmed IPOB family members, have now been stationed near Enugu to ambush and assassinate me on my way to the meeting with the governors on Friday.
“On that same Friday, the 15th of September, 2017, the leadership of IPOB, through the instrumentality of the Directorate of State, headquartered in Germany, will be meeting to vote on the viability or otherwise of continuing our struggle in this non-violent manner.
“There is urgent need to begin the process of defending ourselves in the face of relentless murderous attacks from the Nigerian state.”
Kanu explained that the prevailing situation in the South-East was not conducive to meaningful discussions with the governors.
“Accordingly, we will not engage in any meeting with anybody until the atmosphere is conducive and peaceful enough to allow for such,” he said.
In the same vein, he warned anti-Biafra Igbo, whom he described as “collaborators and agents of the oppressor”, to immediately go into self-imposed exile.