A former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, has warned politicians from the South East of the danger describing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as a “kidnapping organization.”
According to a statement issued in Owerri by his Media aide, Collins Ughalaa, the ex-governor made the statement during a town hall meeting which held in the state capital.
Ohakim who ruled Imo State between 2007 and 2011 is the governorship candidate of Accord Party for the March 2 governorship election in the state.
The statement had quoted Ohakim as saying “While I am not a member of the IPOB and thus unqualified to hold brief for the organization, I make bold to state that it is the height of recklessness and insensitivity to publicly accuse the IPOB or anybody for that matter of being a kidnapper, especially in this case of plotting to kidnap and kill top Igbo political leaders.”
“Such a reckless and weighty accusation should not be handled lightly as it carries the potential to yet again make the IPOB the target of another lethal and extrajudicial security operations and portray its members and leaders in a bad light.”
“It is enough that the IPOB has been mired in fighting legal, political and diplomatic battles to get de-listed as terrorist and proscribed organization.”
“As a former Governor who fought tenaciously against the scourge of kidnapping and signed one of the toughest laws against it in Imo State, I know enough to state that publicly accusing anyone of kidnapping, without evidence, is as counterproductive as it also poses grave risks of loss of life or limb to the person accused.”
“As we deal with the emotions of the oncoming 2019 elections and our political disagreements in Igboland, we must refrain from reckless statements that are capable of exposing our people to unnecessary risks. ”
“If anybody has any actionable intelligence or information that criminal activity is afoot, such should be discreetly reported to the security agencies for proper investigation.”
“Levying public accusations of criminality without any scintilla of evidence is as dangerous as it is hardly effective in investigating or combating crime. It is worse when such accusations emanate from high officials who are possessed of the vantage position to know better”.