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Stop portraying IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu as heroes — By Ifeonu Okolo


SIR: When one tries to look at the tragic-comedy that is apparently playing out in the Southeast, a dispassionate observer would not know whether to laugh or to mourn.

The otherwise peaceful region has been turned to a killing field by the notorious members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), fuelled and supported by almost all and sundry in the eastern part of the country.

While it is so, it is all the more regrettable that otherwise reputed newspapers have unwittingly publicized the activities of the terrorist group, that is, the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in such a manner that is fast becoming repugnant in the minds of the right thinking members of the public.

This is not supposed to be so. But it is a common fact that The Nation has over time given banner headlines to the activities of IPOB, whether positively or negatively.
The most recent is the banner photograph in the front page of The Nation newspaper of Thursday May 19, showing the leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu with his lawyers in the court chamber. For someone who is abreast of the happenings in the east, the photograph cannot be said to be anything less than offensive – offensive to the eyes and the mind. It would therefore be reasonable, if the reputable newspaper would spare members of the public all that has to do with IPOB and instead publish stories that enhance the overall well-being of the society.

This is all the more necessary, if one decides to consider the tragic-comical aspect of the happenings the people of the eastern part of Nigeria have foisted on themselves by surreptitiously standing with Nnamdi Kanu in his attempt to turn himself to a hero.

The living in self-denial by both the traditional and political leaders in the east over Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB activities can be clearly seen with the recent visit of the governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo to Nnamdi Kanu in the Department of State Security Services (DSS) cell in Abuja, probably to plead with him to call his boys to order.

No sooner than Soludo arrive Anambra than the hoodlums set several local government secretariats in the state ablaze and further promised to burn down nine additional secretariats.

Rising from that, a lawmaker in the state, Okechukwu Okoye, representing Aguata Constituency in Anambra House of Assembly was on Saturday May 21, murdered in cold blood and his decapitated head deposited in a bag, after shooting his innocent son to death. Faced with this barbaric deed, Charles Soludo has since promised to give N10 million to any person who will volunteer information about the whereabouts of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

The simple question remains: who are the people that have been perpetrating such crimes in the entire East? Everyone knows it is the IPOB dissidents, except the traditional and political leaders in the eastern part of Nigeria who apparently have been pretending not to know.

About two months ago, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,  George Obiozor’s house was burnt down by the same elements in Imo State. Probably for fear of facing the reality, nobody was bold enough to raise his voice against the happenings, not even the victim was courageous enough to call a spade, spade.

The ugly trend has therefore continued unabated in the southeast. But the media will do the right-thinking members of the public a great deal of good if they can learn to place the activities of a designated terrorist group where it ought to be, that is, the dustbin.

Affording them a space in a reputable newspaper amounts to emboldening them in their dastardly and heinous crimes.

Asaba, Delta State

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