According to reports reaching us,there is currently a reluctance to travel outside the country by governors of the south-eastern states
This according to findings published by Saturday Punch is as a result of the threat by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra to attack them as well as other Igbo politicians whenever they are sighted outside the shores of the country.
According to Punch, findings also show that the South-East governors are very unlikely to make any trip abroad at the moment given the issue with IPOB and until same is resolved.
The Punch reveals that sources said that the South-East governors are afraid lest what happened to Ekweremadu also happen to them if they travel abroad.
Investigations by Punch’s correspondents into the position of South-East senators on the issue also revealed that the fedral lawmakers appear to hold differing views on the threat but confirms that no Igbo governor is prepared to travel outside the country at the moment.
While some lawmakers hold the opinion that the governors should dare the IPOB members and agitators and travel out to any part of the world without the fear of being assaulted, others have warned that they should thread with caution.
A lawmaker who spoke on the issue is said to have opined that the governors drew the anger of the Biafran agitators when they supported the proscription of the IPOB.
He said, “It should be clear to our governors now that the essence of the military operation (Operation Python Dance) in the South-East then was to carry out an ulterior motive which has been defeated.
The governors should initiate dialogue with the leadership of IPOB in the interest of peace.”
Recall that members of the group had last Saturday attacked a former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in apparent obedience to an order by the leader of the secessionist group, Nnamdi Kanu, ordering that its members in 100 countries across the world should attack the governors of Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia and Anambra states should they be seen abroad.
The group had also put on notice Ndigbo leaders such as the President-General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who it has accused of supporting the Operation Python Dance in the South-East.
Ekweremadu was subsequently attacked in Nuremberg, Germany, where he had gone to celebrate the New Yam festival in a show of shame.
Video clips of the attack subsequently went viral on the Internet, showed the lawmaker being pelted with stones, yams, sticks and water packs, while his isiagu, a pullover shirt worn by the Igbo people on special occasions, was torn.
After the IPOB’s threat, the South-East governors and Nwodo had in separate statements debunked the group’s threat, saying that attacking them isn’t the solution to solve the problem of their agitation for the soveraign state of Biafra.
Days after the Ekweremadu attack, the South-East Governors Forum had written President Muhammadu Buhari to approve its earlier decision to ban herders who have no cattle, as well as the movement of cattle by foot in the region in a bid to forestall insecurity and banditry, which was one of the issues raised by IPOB in its threat.
However, another Igbo senator said that the governors should halt any attempt that will further bring themselves to ridicule.
He said, “Why should they (governors) reach out to them (IPOB members)? For what purpose? The IPOB threatened the governors and the states’ chief executives also threatened them.
“The governors threatened to force the IPOB leader, Kanu, back to Nigeria if the agitators should lay their hands on any politicians from the eastern part of the country who travel abroad again.
“The governors said they would use every means to repatriate Kanu.
How they want to do that, I don’t know. That threat means that they are afraid. That means that they are taking the man’s threat seriously.
“Our people are expecting the governors to dare the guys by saying nothing would happen and decide to embark on foreign trips, but it is obvious that the governors are scared of the IPOB threat. Our people are even happy that the threat would make the governors stay at home and work for their people. The governors were saying that they would plot Kanu’s repatriation so that the people at home can deal with him, but the boys on the ground here are just laughing at them.
“What can either the South-East governors or the Federal Government do on Ekweremadu’s case? Will they travel abroad to go and arrest the guys who attacked him? The German government has already said that the guys have the right to protest. What else will they do? It is a mob action. No one can be arrested. The only thing that the Nigerian government can do is to go and arrest those who invited him, which is not possible.”