The chairman of the Governing Council of the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Emeka Emekesiri, Esq. has dissociated the Council from the purported Customary Government established and chaired by former Niger Delta warlord, Asari Dokubo.
Barr. Emekesiri made the remarks during a virtual interview held by Elombah Television over the weekend, Saturday, 3rd April, 2021.
Emekesiri spoke on the topic: “Biafra Defacto Customary Government: The Controversies between the Asari Dokubo group and the Biafra Elders Customary Government“.
He said that the IPOB Governing Council were not consulted by Dokubo or his cohorts before inaugurating the new Biafran Customary Government.
He said: “We published a disclaimer that we are not part of the Customary Government announced by Asari Dokubo.
“Our explanations are actually contained in that disclaimer we made.
“Yes they are different now… I agree.
“They started a new form of customary government that is not what we agreed.
“Let me explain that there had been a call among Biafran agitators. There had been a call.
“The elders started calling for unity since 2014 and, of course, they said that we should continue to seek for unity and synergy among the Biafran agitators and we have continued that.
“So I reached out to Ralph Uwazuruike last year, reached out to Asari Dokubo also and said let us sit down and think, plan how to work together and harmonise, synergise.
“Unfortunately it did not happen that way because the day we were to meet Asari Dokubo said he cannot come to Owerri to meet and he said because of security reasons.
“Then I called Uwazuruike and said can we not go to Bayelsa [State] since Asari will not be able to travel to Owerri.
“Uwazuruike said he is going to Okwe to supervise works in his university site.
“That I should not go to Bayelsa and discuss with Asari, then after, I will now come and discuss with him.
“Ah-ah, I said this is not what we agreed… Is it that that this is not serious or what?
“This thing, is it that it is not serious, something that we will sit down and discuss and work together in synergy?
“Eventually, we did not! We did not have that meeting.
“Later, Uche Mefor called and said that they a forming a group called “Reconciliation Group”.
“I said ok, that’s good. Reconciliation is good and so we coming together for reconciliation, what do we reconcile? How do we reconcile, how do we harmponise our activities?
“Good. We agreed that all the groups should maintain their structures but then how do we synergise, how do we harmonise so that we can work together in unity?
“Then the next I heard was they have formed a committee called “Biafra De Facto Customary Government Implementation Committee.
“Ok. Fine. I now put five questions:
- This implementation committee… who are the members of this implementation committee?
- What is the implementation committee going to implement?
- Which Biafra groups are under this implementation committee?
- What hasn been decided… is there anything decided about the existing structures of all the groups?
- What about the existing structures like the government set up by different groups, like the Biafrans in abroad said that created what they called “Biafra Government in Exile”; Uwazuruike created “Biafra Internal Government”; then we have the “Customary Government” which the elders created and registered under a deed poll.
“A deed poll occurs under a customary governance registered by Nigerian Biafra Government. So how do we harmonise all these structures so that we do not lose the gains?
“There are gains and successes that have been achieved by various groups so that we can build upon the foundations, upon the gains and successes already achieved.
“They did not answer me up till today!
“Then the next thing I heard was an announcement that they created… in fact Asari Dokubo’s announcement was that they will revive the twenty legally created provinces of Biafra. How?
“The fact is that upon the fall of Biafra, when the Republic of Biafra collapsed, in 1970, all the laws and structures created by the Biafran Government ceased to exist.
“So those Biafra provinces created by Biafra law ceased to exist.
“So how are you creating 20 provinces, in which territory?
“Biafra is still within Nigerian territory now. We are a people living inside Nigeria.
“Our position is that people should be careful because are engaging Nigerian Government in law and in diplomacy.
“We are in court with the Nigerian Government. Our case is in the Court of Appeal.
“And we are also in the National Assembly where we filed our memorandum.
“So if we are seeking for prayers we have set before the court in the judiciary, we have also set prayers in the National Assembly, and then we turn around and we take the laws into our hands and we declare 20 provinces of the Biafran state, what do you think that the defendants will do?
“If the defendants find that we are part of this think, what they will do is to go to court and get an injunction against us stopping from even presenting out position, our case in the National Assembly or we have taken the laws into our hands.
“And we have also declared 20 provinces as Biafran states!
“So we have to be careful. This is not what we are talking about.
“We are talking about how do we implement? That is why it is called implementation committee, what are we implementing?
“And they don’t want to answer me. So since we do not know what we are implementing, we are no part of it.
“It is not that we do not want unity. We want unity but then we don’t want to make mistakes.
“So if they want the Customary Government to be the platform, fine! We build on the existing structure.
“It is a Customary Government established by deep poll of Customary Government duly registered by the Nigerian law.
“Nigerian registered deep poll and it is a legal instrument.
“For you to kick against a legal instrument, you have to go to court and get an order of the court to nullify the deep poll,” noted Emekesiri.
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