As the clock ticks closer to November 18 governorship election in Anambra state, Mazi Ezenwachukwu Sampson Okwudili, the new Director of Radio Biafra and Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has asked members of the group to come out and vote for candidates of their choice.
In a broadcast Wednesday on 7240 KHZ on 41 meter band monitored in Abuja at about 6am-7am, the new IPOB leader said the participation in the election is the civic right of members.
Observers see the turn of events as a determined stride by the new IPOB helmsman to consolidate hold on power and steer the group away from pursuing a violent course.
IPOB’s deposed Nnamdi Kanu had directed Anambrarians and members of the group to shun the polls, even threatening to punish with death anyone that votes in the coming poll.
The group, which marched in their numbers through the streets of Onitsha last week had warned residents to ‘”vote and die”, a threat the police dismissed as empty.
The announcement Wednesday morning on Radio Biafra also announced the dismissal of Comrade Emma Powerful as the spokesman of IPOB.
According to announcement, Powerful was alleged to be one of the custodians of Mazi Kanu’s ill-gotten wealth as he allegedly joined him in misappropriating IPOB money.
He was also accused of refusing to speak up for Chidiebere Onwudiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, who are still incarcerated in Kuje prison.
“These are our brothers who were arrested at the same time with Kanu and they should not be forgotten. We hereby demand their release. Neither Emma Powerful nor Kanu, since his release, has spoken about them or appealed for the release of these our freedom fighters,” said the announcement.
The organization maintained that it has never been a violent organization and would not be cajoled into taking a violent course.
“IPOB has never been a violent organization as the international community will never support any violent organization in its bid to actualize its dreams, no matter how compelling its case could be. Once an organization begins to embrace violence, it will be labelled a terrorist organization.
“The era of threats, hate speeches, incitements, violence and intimidation, abuse and hooliganism are gone with the past and corrupt leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Nwanekaenyi Kanu.”
Radio Biafra therefore directed all IPOB members worldwide to tune in every morning on “7240 KHZ, 41 meter-band, short wave and at 9pm on 11530 KHZ on 25 meter band. They can also listen to Radio Biafra on tunein.com, streamer.com, radio garden and other similar services that are available, on smartphones and computers, the announcement said.
Furthermore, the broadcast directed IPOB members to go and participate in Anambra election and cast their vote for any candidate of their choice, saying “It’s your civic responsibilities to exercise your franchise, and IPOB has no candidate in the election.
“Kanu and his cohorts including Uche Mefor and Emma Powerful cannot continue to feed fat on the blood of young innocent men in a misdirected and infantile adventure.
“We have ideological clarity and methodology in our struggle. Radio Biafra is back and alive and as we say failure to heed to IPOB directives has its consequences and Comrade Emma Powerful should know this. A word is enough for the wise,” the broadcast concluded.
So far, the radio has remained on air and has been dishing out its messages in both English and Igbo twice daily since Sunday November 12. So far too, the Directorship of the Radio Biafra and the new IPOB leadership appears not to have been challenged at all; instead, the new IPOB leader, Mazi Ezenwachukwu Sampson Okwudili seems to be consolidating his hold on IPOB.