Former Minister of Information, Chief John Nnia Nwodo has dissociated himself from social media reports in which he purportedly accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of masterminding the killings and insecurity in the South East region of the country.
A certain social media platform claimed that Nwodo had, in 2019, absolved the killer herdsmen of complicity in the insecurity and accused IPOB of being responsible for the crisis.
But Nwodo, who recently completed his tenure as President General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, has described such claims as puerile, mendacious and provocative.
“This is a terrible lie from the pit of hell and intended not just to tarnish my image, but to set me on a collision course with IPOB. “Let me state categorically that I have not stated or given anybody the impression that I was interested in the 2023 presidential race, neither does my body language suggest it.
“Furthermore, I couldn’t have indicted IPOB on killings in the South East when I have always held the view that they are my children and share in their grievances arising from the overt marginalisation of the Ibo in the country.
“In my inaugural speech as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 2017, and in my address at Chatham House in London, I had stated clearly and firmly that the struggle of IPOB is my struggle except that we differ in modalities because while they sought outright independence for Biafra, Ohanaeze Ndigbo stood for the restructuring of the nation in a united Nigeria.
“It is also instructive that in the twilight of my service to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we had reached an understanding to work in concert with IPOB to achieve the desired objective for Ndigbo. “Where and when did I fall out with IPOB to make a public statement accusing them of any crime or denouncing their activities?
“Moreover, it is on record that since I left as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I have deliberately shied away from making any public statement in order not to distort public view as to who speaks for Ndigbo after my exit. “The only public speech I have made since then was recently on the day of tributes in honour of the deceased Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin.
“The obvious conclusion from the ill-conceived story is that it was intended to indict me and justify an attack on me. “This mischief is as condemnable as it is indecent and should be roundly condemned by all decent minds. Nobody gains anything from unjustifiably engaging in a smear campaign on an innocent person,” he said.