Edo Indigenous Movement, under the auspices of the Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has called on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra to reorient his members that Edo people are not Biafrans.
Edo Indigenous Movement made this call in a Press Statement issued in Benin City by its President, Dr Bishop Omogiade E Edokpolo where he said the clarification has become necessary, owing to IPOB members who are urging Edo people to join the Biafran Movement.
Edokpolo said although Biafrans and Igbos have always been friends with the Edo people, it was wrong to suppose that Edo should be part of Biafraland, pointing out that such calls emanate from ignorance on the part of IPOB members.
“Nnamdi Kanu has said it many times that Edo is not part of Biafra”, he said, and urged Kanu to remind his members this important truth.
His words “It has been brought to our attention that the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB are calling Edo people to join the Biafrans. Now, it has always been made clear by the leader of that movement, who is Nnamdi Kanu that Edo people have nothing to do with Biafra, and we appreciate him putting out that information.
“But unfortunately, his followers seems to be ignorant about this matter.
“We want to use this medium to call on the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu to make this matter clear to the Biafrans. It has been very clear that the Edo kingdom and empire has been there since 1180 c and from our research, the Biafran agitation started in 1967. You apparently see the big gap in dates of the emergence of Edo and that of Biafra. We don’t have any problem or issues with the Biafrans and the Igbos, but we just want to set this record straight, that the Edos are very professional, responsible, articulate and very civilized in their approach to any matter. This matter has been brought to the attention of Edo indigenous leaders and we are handling it in a very professional manner.
“So I want to use this opportunity, in the capacity of the leader of the Edo Indigenous Movement, to send a clear message to the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, to reorient and sensitize his people.
“This is because it appears that the information that their leaders have been directing to them is not very clear to them when it comes to Edo matters. The world is aware about the credible and mighty history of Bini kingdom. So let us not get these information twisted. I also want to send a clear message to all our indigenes who promptly responded to this mater, those who are confused about this should also by this message be aware of the place of Edo indigenes in the comity of Indigenous peoples.
“Edo Indigenous Movement is hereby telling you today that Edo people have nothing to do with the IPOB fellowship. Should there be any kind of unity or partnership, it is the Indigenous People of Biafra that need to merge with the Edo kingdom. Edo kingdom has been in preexistence, Bini kingdom has been in preexistence, and the world is aware of this. I call on all Edo people wherever they are to rise up today, and begin to put Edo agenda first by calling on your brothers and sisters to begin to believe in themselves, and begin to promote themselves, and to begin to advance the positive sides of Edo people.
“We have no problem with the Igbo people, they are our friends, we have never had a problem with them. But we need their leaders to reorient their people in line with our historical values. If there is anything we do not tolerate as a people, it’s relegation, marginalisation or reduction of character.
“Whether you are Esan, Afemai or Bini, begin to place one another’s interest first. We are here for you, and we will never let you down. This is what we ask from the Indigenous People of Biafra. I do believe that once their leader speak to them, they will listen at once”, Edokpolo stated.