The 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), is taking place in YoKohama, Japan, with many African leaders and businessmen invited to attend. Among them is the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari. TICAD is an initiative of the Japanese Government on African development that started in 1993, and has grown to attract the support of the UN, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC). It has ever since become an important economic event not only for African leaders, but Asia as well. But there are those who are in attendance thou not invited – the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The IPOB’s reason for attendance is not for African development, but to continue what they started in Germany a week ago. The new yam festival held in Nuremburg a week ago was full of Igbo cultural display, except a physical scene where the former Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu was at the receiving end.
Ike Ekweremadu’s festival was cut short by IPOB members who physically registered on him, the anger they have harbored for long, over their claim that him among others, mainly Southeast Governors have been working against the Igbo race. He was assaulted, his clothing torn that he had to run for his dear life.
The group claimed that those of Igbo tribe who are in positions of authority have failed to use their positions to fight for their brothers in the face of obvious oppression. But have supported the Nigerian Government as it maims, kill and incarcerate IPOB members. And for that reason, they should be expecting more of what happened to Ekweremadu.
The attack, which was widely condemned in Nigeria, set a precedent that is reported to be unfolding right now in Japan. The secessionist group have vowed to bring Nigerian president to justice for ordering the death of over 150 of their members. Not only him, but every other person who have supported government’s brutality and marginalization of Biafrans.
Last week, reports have it that some Southeastern Governors and politicians cancelled their planned trips to overseas, not ready for such embarrassing confrontation yet. It was reported that Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled leader of IPOB, has ordered his loyalists to go to Japan and ensure that Buhari receives what he deserves.
Words on social media have it that members of IPOB are already gathering at the TICAD7 venue in Tokyo, waving Biafran flags and waiting to confront Buhari. But the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina has issued a statement refuting the claim.
“IPOB has nothing to do with president Buhari in Japan. The proscribed group has had nothing to do with president Buhari since he arrived Yokohama, Japan, on Monday.
“Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora are urged to disregard concocted stories, backed with spurious visuals of any protest or harassment of the president and his team. It is the stock-in-trade of hate mongers, who do not realize that the rest of Nigerians have left them far behind.”
He added that the president is on schedule in pursuit of Nigeria’s interest and cannot be distracted.
“President Buhari will make his presence at the TICAD7 count for Nigeria, and no scare-mongering or sabre-rattling will detract him from the outing.”
Buhari has gone to Yokohama on Monday, in the company of Governors of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwoolu, Borno State, Babagana Zulum, Kwara State, AbdulRahmam AbdulRazaq, in search of Foreign Direct investment (FDI), especially in the agricultural sector.