From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has been cautioned against playing politics with the whereabouts of the IPOB leader’s father and the traditional ruler of Isiama -Afaraukwu autonomous community, HRM Eze Israel Kanu.
The warning is coming on the heels of a comment credited to Ikpeazu when some people from the community paid him courtesy visit at the Government House, Umuahia.
Ikpeazu had reportedly told his guests that the state Government was making efforts in collaboration with other South East Governors to ensure that the monarch was re-united with his subjects soon.
He also said that contrary to misconception in some quarters, he had no hands in the military invasion of the community during the Operation Python Dance ll.
Both IPOB, traditional authorities in the community as well as family members have expressed fury over the Governor’s comments.
The whereabouts of Eze Kanu, his wife, Lolo Sally and son, Nnamdi has remained unknown since the September 14, 2017 military raid on his palace that also claimed scores of IPOB members and Biafra agitators.
In a swift reaction to the Governor’s comments, Spokesman of the family and Kanu’s youngest brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu told Ikpeazu to “look for better ways of entertaining his guests and not use Kanu as a campaign slogan for his re-election bid “.
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful warned Ikpeazu against playing politics with a matter that concerns its leader.
IPOB insisted that Ikpeazu cannot exonerate himself from the infamous Operation Python dance which claimed a lot of lives in the area.
Kanu’s family cautioned Ikpeazu to be mindful of his utterances concerning the whereabouts of the monarch and other family members yet to be sighted since the military raid on the palace last year.
The family Spokesman wondered why “the Governor who has not thought it wise to visit the family since over one year our father, mother and brother got disappeared, suddenly made their matter a campaign tool “.
He said Ikpeazu should leave the Kanu family out of his second term project, and dismissed the Governor’s comment as an afterthought.
Prince Kanu said no amount of hypocrisy would exonerate Ikpeazu and his South East counterparts from culpability over the invitation of the military for a Python Dance Operation in the zone last year.
He said “Ikpeazu should not think we can be easily deceived by hiring supporters from our community to visit him in Government House and making flowery comments about our family “.
According to him, “the prevailing hunger in the land had made it easy to recruit people to sing ones praises for peanuts”.