Away from the numerous attacks on the activities of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Nigerian government, The Biafra Times investigation into the struggle for Biafra has revealed other challenges confronting Biafrans.
One of such challenges is the attempt by groups and individuals to impersonate IPOB and some members of its leadership for pecuniary gains. For instance, a group known as Bilie Human Rights Initiative (BHRI) is said to be playing that role at the moment. Registered with Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission (NCAC) few years ago, the BHRI is said to have already been deregistered when it was discovered that, contrary to its claims, the group was not open to all Nigerians.
It was discovered also that the group, in its quest for continued existence in another guise, had to quickly change its name to Government of Indigenous People of Biafra (GIPB), claiming to have a Council of Elders as its highest decision-making body. According to IPOB leadership, it was under this new name that the group lied to the people that it had attended an African Union (AU) meeting, as well as that of the United Nations (UN).
Some members of IPOB have accused the group of taking its nefarious activities to some markets and public places in Biafraland, extorting money from unsuspecting members of public. They claimed that few days ago, they sighted some members of the group (Bilie/GIPB) at Nkpor junction, Onitsha, speaking to the people.
They had in their company, a European, whose presence attracted curious people that drew near to listen to what they had to say. They asked the people to ignore the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB and to follow their leadership. They said their group was the only one that was better placed to win Biafra.
When The Biafra Times spoke to Ikechukwu Okoye, IPOB Coordinator in Anambra State, he said they were aware of such moves by BHRI in the state, and were working to thwart all their plans. He used the opportunity to advise the people not to be deceived by such people, and that IPOB was an organised group that was not in the business of going to market places or the social media to solicit for funds.
He further advised the people that seeing a group with a European should not be a reason for them to pay heed to their antics, since white-skinned individuals could be got from anywhere. He went on to assure The Biafra Times that IPOB was working out ways to counter the pranks of the BHRI/GIPB aimed at exploiting the people.
He said there was no way they would lie low and allow people to destroy the integrity IPOB have built over the years. “I am not against any group fighting for Biafra, but I am against any group using the name of IPOB to extort money from Biafrans” he said.
In another development, Uche Mefor, Deputy Director of Radio Biafra, in an elaborate article deposed all the claims of BHRI as being better placed to get Biafra. He told Biafrans to ignore the group since it pledged allegiance to Nigeria and its laws and as such could not successfully fight for Biafra. “BHRI and its ‘SUPREME COUNCIL OF ELDERS’ and their followers are indeed Nigerians in fact and indeed obey the Nigerian law, and therefore coming out to the world to announce that they are freedom fighters and agitators for Biafra makes mockery of the Biafra” he said.
In a recent broadcast, Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra used the opportunity to assure Biafrans that the impersonators where just wasting their time since they would only remain copies while IPOB remains the original. He words: “People can copy us; people can even pretend to be us, but they can never be like us. We are a golden generation. There was not a generation like this one, and they will never be another like our own”.
Interestingly, it has also been discovered that some individuals have gone on social media claiming to be the Radio Biafra Director and asking people to donate money for the Biafran struggle.