IPOB: Igbo In Lagos Lie Low
Nigeria News examine the behaviour of Igbo people in Lagos after IPOB was proscribed
As soon as the Nigerian Army declared the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB a terrorist group and the southeast governors proscribed its activities in the region, what happened in Lagos was amazing.
The noise about secession among Igbo ethnic people in the southwest of Nigeria suddenly went down. The IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu himself went into hiding with the allegation that the Nigerian Army was looking for him.
Just because a troop of Operation Python Danced at his door steps, the paper tiger vanished into thin air.
Before now, most Nigerians of Igbo extraction were very loud on social media platform about their agitation for Biafra state.
They debated their readiness for war to claim a republic at every corner of the country, which to a larger extent became hate speech against other ethnic nationalities.
While the Yoruba in southwest could tolerate the hate speech and accommodate the Igbos, the northern youths could not, they issued quit notice to the Igbos resident in the north to leave before October 1.
It took the intervention of the government and northern leaders to retract the quit notice. The coalition of northern youth forum said it did not really mean to chase Igbo people away from the north but had issued such notice to stop IPOB and its sympathizers from using hate languages in the country.
At a period, Kanu/IPOB’s image was looming large and rather for him to be cautious, he quickly organized a Biafra Secret Service with uniform and coat of arm after his released from detention.
His arrest, prosecution and consequent “conditionally” release by the court easily turned him to a hero among his clan. He breached all his bail conditions and threatened to disrupt the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.
Kanu was only brave and loud on social media platforms until the Nigerian Army visited Abia through the code name Operation Python Dance II.
He changed his words, “IPOB is not a violent group” but not until some of his members had been dealt with by the Nigerian troops who were seeking a place to exhibit some skills.”
No doubt, Kanu’s recent behaviour is a disappointment to many of his followers. The paper tiger dialogued with his limbs in the face of armoured tanks and a score of soldiers.
Calm did not return to the southeast alone, the streets of Lagos has been silent. The popular Alaba International Market dominated by Igbo is singing a song of peace and unity in Nigeria.
The Biafra flags that usually welcomed traders into the market had disappeared. Almost all the Igbo people trading in the market had got a flag but as at today, they have either torn it or hid it somewhere.
In fact, the highly industrious and commercial Igbo people resident in Lagos have bridled their tongues. Hate speeches has suddenly gone down. They are no more agitating for Biafra in the public and when they do in the secret, they keep their heads low.
All this happened just as the Nigeria Army designated IPOB as terrorist group and the political elites in the southeast proscribed the activities of the Biafra activists.
On Wednesday, the Federal Government took a step further, seeking court’s approval of the declaration of IPOB as terrorist group and it got it.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, granted the order proscribing the group and declaring it as terrorist organization.
The court divulged that the activities of IPOB in Nigeria, particularly in the South-East and/or South-South regions, henceforth, constituted “an act of terrorism.