We Are Not Kneeling Down With You – IPOB Mock Ezeife

IPOB has mocked former Anambra state Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife for telling them to kneel down before every tribe in Nigeria and beg for Presidential seat in the upcoming presidential election in 2023. IPOB laments that Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who is supposed to be an elder statesman has shot over the bar. He has misfired. Chukwuemeka Ezeife has committed a sacrilege. He has committed an abomination against the Igbo culture.

Chukwuemeka Ezeife had told a gathering in Abuja that the South East, or the Igbo, were prepared to “kneel for any region to garner support to clinch the Presidency in 2023,” IPOB lamented.

Chukwuemeka Ezeife few days ago made an abominable statement saying that the Igbos are ready to prostrate before every other tribes in Nigeria to garner support for the presidential race come 2023.

According to the words of Chukwuemeka Ezeife; “Even though the Igbo people don’t prostrate, but this time, we are prepared to kneel down to every part of Nigeria, every group, every ethnic group in Nigeria. We are prepared to even prostrate because we believe in this country,” he stated.

IPOB while reacting to Chukwuemeka Ezeife stated; We the global family of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our prophet Mazi Nnamdi Kanu humbly beg to disagree with Chukwuemeka Ezeife. We are not kneeling down with you to anybody. We don’t kneel down to any human being, or to any mortal. We are not prostrating to any group of people, no matter what.

We don’t need Presidency, what we need is a referendum. The Ohaneze Indigbo, perhaps, wants Presidency in 2023, but we the Global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra wants a referendum to decide whether we want to continue being Nigeria or not. Even though Ohaneze wants Presidency by all means, Igbos will not be so desperate for the Presidency as to go against their tradition and against their culture, by kneeling down or prostrating to fellow human beings, no matter how highly placed.

The Igbo are major stakeholders in the Nigerian project. They have contributed more than any other ethnic group to the making of Nigeria, to the development of Nigeria, in terms of infrastructure, intellect, and business. The Igbo are all over the country, working tirelessly to make Nigeria great. They have been building bridges of cooperation among all people of Nigeria. The settle wherever they find themselves, build their own houses, speak the language of their host, and marry from the people.

Unfortunately, the Igbo have not been fairly treated in Nigeria. They have not gotten what they consider as their due share in the country. The Igbo are the only major ethnic groups that have not tested the Presidency of Nigeria since 1967, except for the six months of the ill-fated General Aguiyi Ironsi regime. Therefore, for purposes of equity and fairness, it is appropriate that the Igbo be allowed to produce the President in 2023, but unfortunately we have denounced Nigeria and decided to embrace our ancestral home and that is Biafra. We don’t want Igbo Presidency, all we want is Biafra.

We want to say it categorically that the Igbos will not sell their dignity. They will not sell their honour by kneeling down, or prostrating before any mortal, simply because some greedy and selfish political leaders want to be President. Even though the Igbos will need the cooperation of other Nigerians and other sections of the country to get the Presidency we the Igbos can never ever bow or prostrate to any mortal. We will not kneel down or prostrate to anybody just because our political leaders wants to be President.

Kneeling down, or prostrating before any mortal, before any created being, is not in the Igbo character. It is not part of the Igbo culture. The Igbo kneel down and prostrate only to the Supreme Deity, and that is God Almighty, Chukwuokike Abiama, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Olaudah Equiano, a ninteeth century former Igbo slave boy, in his Memoir, described the Igbo people of his days as a happy clean people, without unemployment, without prostitution, without drunkards, and without beggars.

The Igbo of today may not be quite different from the Igbo of those days, unless there are counterfeit Igbo in their midst, that is people with a foreign blood. The original Igbo are self-content, self-satisfied, somehow proud of themselves, but very independent.

The Igbo people are not beggars, and not subservient to anybody or to any group of people. In other words, the Igbo will not beg for what they consider should be their right. They will not prostrate to get what they believe is their entitlement even though they have been marginalized.

The Igbo are not strangers in Nigeria. They did not come from the moon, or from any foreign land. They are citizens of the entity called Nigeria, they decided to leave Nigeria when Nigeria became a failed state. Therefore, the Igbo people should not be treated as second class citizens by consistently denying their rights, or edging them out of the scheme of things.

The Igbo have equal rights, and equal stake in the Nigeria project, and should be accorded equal recognition. There should be no discrimination or marginalization of the people. That is the crux of the matter. The genesis of the present Nigerian problems, where some people behave as if they own Nigeria alone, while others are mere onlookers.

In any case, is 2023 Presidency the priority of the South East or the Igbo? An Igbo President in 2023 is not what is bothering us right now, what is bothering us right now is how to get Mazi Nnamdi Kanu out of DSS custody and get our referendum, we are tired of Nigeria and we want to leave, please let us go in peace. All we want is Biafra and that is where our loyalty lies.

Therefore, what Chukwuemeka Ezeife should have been asking for, if he wants to kneel down alone and beg, is for the Federal Government of Nigeria to release Nnamdi Kanu and give us referendum for us to decide whether we want to continue in Nigeria or not.

Austine Ikeru
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