Meanwhile, the Presidency has said that the leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was not invited to the Federal Government’s peace negotiations between northern and South East leaders because it did not consider him a leader of thought in any region.
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu, who disclosed the government’s stance, however did not rule out the possibility of having talks with the IPOB leader should the need arise.
Ojudu said: “We were looking for leaders of the people, leaders of thought and we do not see him as a leader of thought in the East. May be the opportunity will come at one time or the other for him to be engaged.”
“But so far, what we have done is to look at people who have influence in the communities, whether it is religious, whether it is traditional, whether it is political, social or governance. These are the people we brought in for discussions.”
He disclosed that the South East leaders, including Ohanaeze Ndigbo, who have participated in the peace talks have neither asked for a referendum on Biafra nor outright secession but complained of marginalization and police harassment/ roadblocks.
“Nobody has tabled that in all the discussions we have had. Ohanaeze came with a prepared document. They never talked about referendum. They never even talked about secession.
“They made complaints about police harassment at road blocks. They made complaints about losing some key positions, not being appointed into security positions and all those kinds of things.”
“And these are things that can easily be addressed. Nobody canvassed secession at those meetings; nobody canvassed referendum,” Ojudu said.