From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Commissioner for Information, Abia State, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, has dismissed as fake news, media reports that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu has blamed the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for underdevelopments in Abia.
Okiyi Kalu who spoke with The AUTHORITY in Umuahia on phone said there was no element of truth in the said media report, dismissing the peddlers as cheap attention seekers.
According to the said story which is trending on many social media platforms, Ikpeazu allegedly made the remarks during a Zoom media conference with some journalists on Saturday.
Governor Ikpeazu, according to the report, lamented that the President Muhammadu Buhari -led Federal Government “abandoned Abia state because of Nnamdi Kanu”.
Ikpeazu was further quoted as claiming that “Nnamdi Kanu is the reason he has not developed Abia and completed some of the projects he promised to do because each time he approaches the Federal Government to ‘demand money, they always tell me that my state is harboring terrorists’ “.
According to the said report, the governor had also threatened to appoint a replacement for Kanu’s late father should the IPOB Leader who is the Prince of Isiama Afaraukwu community fail to return home to succeed the late monarch who was buried in February.
The ‘fake news’ further quoted the governor as saying : ”I have decided to take the final decision as the executive Governor of Abia state.
“Nnamdi Kanu has done harms to Abia State! He is the reason I didn’t develop Abia and complete some of the projects I promised to do because each time I go to the FG to demand money, they always tell me that my state is harboring Terrorists.
“Nnamdi committed an offense and ran away before the unfortunate death of his father. Now it’s time to make a decision.
“If after 21 days from now and he fails to come back and be crowned the king of Ibeku, I will have no option than to appoint a king myself and whoever I appoint must remain till I leave the office.”
But the Information Commissioner urged members of the public to disregard such media report which he added, did not deserve any response.
In the same vein, Kanu’s family dismissed the remarks attributed to the governor in the said report as ridiculous.
Kanu’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu who spoke on behalf of the family said the claims of the report “are senseless and petty”, adding that there was no basis for the governor to make such comments.
The family however, accused security agencies of planting the said report in the media to distract Kanu in his unwavering quest to actualise Biafra; and to possibly pitch the family against the state government.
Prince Emmanuel said his brother “is too occupied with the struggle for Biafra restoration and has no time to be entangled with kingship matter” of their local community.
He said the intention of those behind the ridiculous story was to possibly distract the IPOB Leader from his course, but quickly added that it was a failed mission.
According to Prince Emmanuel, Kanu as well as the family is too busy with the Biafra project, and has no time for kingship tussle ,although he said there was no Ezeship dispute in their community. He warned those he described as enemies of the family who usually collude with security agencies to fabricate lies against the Kanu family to retrace their steps.
“We know where this latest blackmail is coming from. It’s the same saboteurs who collude with security agencies to malign us. Their intention has always been to frame us up and blackmail my brother.
“But we assure them that we cannot be distracted. My brother is resolute in his resolve towards Biafra restoration which must come this year. He can’t fall for their cheap trick.
“The security agencies should stop wasting their money on those saboteurs because they have run out of ideas. Biafra project is beyond Abia State, it’s a regional movement. ”