The Deputy youth Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and former Publicity Secretary of the Imo State All Progressives Congress APC, Mr Onwuasoanya FCC Jones, have written to the Nnamdi Kanu led Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, over their militant wing, the Eastern Security Network ESN.
His letter reads:
THE LACRIMAL LETTERS (1)
3rd April, 2022.
To IPOB, With Love
A few days ago, during his swearing in ceremony as governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo made a compelling argument for the Monday sit-at-home to be halted, while promising to lead the negotiations with the Federal Government to see the possibility of releasing your detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
As part of his arguments for proposing the stoppage of the counterproductive and aimless sit-at-home, the governor rephrased what has always been my argument against this sit-at-home order when he said; “You cannot protest against marginalization by marginalizing yourself.”
As expected, our brother, the self acclaimed Nnamdi Kanu apostle, Simon Ekpa immediately responded to Governor Soludo’s well thought out appeal by threatening to burn down Anambra, and in his words; “Imo will be a child’s play to Anambra”. Nothing else could have confirmed Ekpa’s involvement in the killings, arson and terrorist activities that have bedevilled the Southeast, including Imo State. And true to his threats, just a few days later, there were terrorist attacks on some government targets in Anambra.
I do not forget that just few weeks after declaring the sit-at-home on Mondays, the authentic IPOB leadership hearkened to wise counsel by announcing its cancellation. However, the disparate criminals hiding under the cover of Eastern Security Network and Biafran restoration agitation continued to terrorize innocent Southeast residents in a bid to criminally enforce the so-called ghost Mondays.
Across the Southeast, we no longer have ways of distinguishing between criminals kidnapping innocent people, armed robbers, ritualists, and other shades of bandits from those fighting against the injustice of the Nigerian State against the Igbo. Every criminal is now an ESN member and every terrorist act perpetrated by any group is quickly blamed on the ESN by our lousy and unimaginative security agents.
I had previously raised an alarm that some ISIS terrorists might have infiltrated the ranks of the genuine agitators and are focused on destroying Ala Igbo and reversing our self gotten development and economic prosperity. I had also warned in the past that some non-Igbo politicians, in cahoots with their Igbo collaborators, might be sponsoring criminal elements to destroy Ala Igbo and weaken any argument for the Igbo presidency project in 2023. I also buy the logic that some disgruntled politicians in the Southeast might have armed their thugs and followers to destabilize the Southeast or certain States in the Southeast in order to get at their political opponents.
Today, a politician could easily send his thugs to kidnap or kill his political opponent, and ESN will be blamed, a family dispute over lands could lead to one side of the family sending assassins after their rivals, and ESN will be blamed. Even some rogue police officers and other security agents could carry out a false flag operation in a bid to further demonize the justified agitation for equity, political and economic inclusion of the Igbos and justice for our people, and ESN would easily become the suspects.
When Mazi Nnamdi Kanu announced the setting up of ESN, as a militia group, he did tell us that it was for the protection of Igbo farmers and residents from the invading Fulani herdsmen. While it must be stated that he didn’t have any powers to set up an armed group, the setting up of ESN would have remained tolerable, if the group had stuck to the stated mission of stopping invading Fulani herdsmen.
While it must be conceded that many Igbos, especially, the elite have been frightened into pretending that the ESN is welcomed, the truth of the matter is that no true Igbo would support an armed gang that destroys the economy of our people, kill innocent Igbos and are gradually reversing our educational achievements.
The killings, arson and other mindless criminality that are now constantly associated with the ESN and IPOB might not have been, if the ESN had remained under the strict control and command of the IPOB. However, Simon Ekpa who was known as a staunch Nnamdi Kanu apostle has constantly defied the orders of the IPOB leadership and has unarguably hijacked the ESN. There is no doubt that the violent guys no longer listen to either Emma Powerful or Chika Edozie.
To shorten the length of this epistle, let me tell you dear brothers and sisters, that IPOB has lost total grips on the Eastern Security Network and there is absolutely no good coming out of the group or the various criminals operating under the cover of ESN.
Besides earlier outlined disadvantages of retaining the ESN, the continued existence of this armed group with the purported imprimatur of the IPOB will continue to give the Nigerian security agencies excuses to kill our young people, set our houses ablaze, extort our traders, rape our sisters, wives and daughters, and arbitrarily clamp our youths in detention. The little sympathy we could have enjoyed from the international community and aid organizations will be completely lost, because no country or international organization would want to associate with any struggle or agitation that is propelled by violence or terrorist acts.
Some of you might see it as concession of defeat, but, the only strategic thing to do at this moment is to declare a ceasefire and call on all genuine ESN operatives to lay down their arms. This will give the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership and other Igbo leaders who have been fighting for a political solution to the Nnamdi Kanu matter a stronger impetus to convince the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu.
We might want to deceive ourselves, but the truth of the matter is that the Federal Government loses absolutely nothing with the carnage these criminal elements are visiting on the Southeast, and they might as well choose to fold their hands and watch us kill off ourselves and reduce our investments to rubbles.
And no matter what anyone wants to make you believe, the truth of the matter is that we do not stand the smallest chance in defeating the Federal Government if we continue to go the violent way. These armed groups can only succeed, like they have been doing, in attacking less fortified infrastructures and private buildings, killing innocent and less guarded Igbos and very few elites. A simple analysis of the victims of the ESN linked attacks in the last one year or so, will tell you that 97% of their victims are Igbos, and 90% of these Igbos are innocent men and women who have nothing to do with the Federal Government.
It is time for you to ask yourselves salient questions: What are we really fighting over? Are we fighting for our freedom or are we fighting to enslave ourselves? How could you want to free a people by enslaving them with fear, by killing them, by destroying their means of livelihood?
My dear Comrades, there wouldn’t be a better way to save an already bad situation than disbanding the ESN. When you do, the genuine Igbo patriots who joined ESN for the protection of Ala Igbo will go underground and even help to fish out and deal with the fifth columnists and agents of destabilization.
I expect backlashes, insults and, as usual, attempts on my life, but I am encouraged by the fact that I meant no harm and that overtime, more and more of our people are realizing the mistake that is the violent turn in this struggle. I know, that a greater number of genuine IPOB members agree with my proposal, but might not openly support it, for fear or out of pride.
In all, I leave everything to posterity and I know that in due course its judgement shall favour the just.
I am your Comrade in the fight for Igbo emancipation,
Onwuasoanya FCC Jones.