The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Monday said the recitation of the Nigerian national anthems will no longer be allowed in Southeast schools.
The group’s head of Directorate of State (DOS), Chika Edoziem, stated this in a New Year message announcing the plans of the separatist group for 2022.
Edoziem said school authorities in the Southeast should only teach the “Biafran” national anthem.
IPOB is a proscribed organisation, which the highest Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, had emphasised does not speak for the Southeast or the Igbo.
Its leader Nnamdi Kanu is on trial over treasonable felony charges.
Edoziem said: “The DOS will be creating a new department in IPOB to add to those already existing under the directorate of state.
“The department will be designated as the IPOB education department.
“Primary responsibility is to teach our history, language, tradition and culture to our children.
“We have about three books that will be published this new year in furtherance of this.
“After the head of this department is made public, Biafran writers will be called upon to bring forward books and educational materials to be published for our children in primary and secondary schools.
“Beginning from tonight, no more Nigerian national anthems in all schools in Biafraland.
“Our children must no longer be reminded daily that they are under oppression by singing the national anthem of the oppressor.
“School authorities and proprietors have a responsibility to teach our children our national anthem: The Biafran National Anthem.”
Edoziem said all supporters of IPOB worldwide would begin a campaign to secure Kanu’s release.
He added: “The following are some of the programmes and actions which the leadership will vigorously pursue in 2022. These are the ones we can make public for now. Others will be made known at the appropriate time.
“Worldwide campaign for the unconditional release of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (A Prisoner of Conscience).
“The Campaign will be called the ‘prisoner of conscience campaign’.
“In furtherance of this campaign, all IPOB family members, Biafrans and friends of Biafra are hereby urged to change their profile pictures on social media with our official campaign poster.
“Secondly, all IPOB families worldwide are hereby directed to activate the earlier instruction passed down to them.
“We shall embark on a worldwide protest in cities and capitals around the world.
“The focus of our protest shall be British embassies, the British Parliament, 10 Downing Street, the Kenyan Embassies, the Nigerian embassies and International Organisations like the UN, the EU, Amnesty International and media houses.”
Security agencies have accused IPOB and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) of being behind most of the acts of violence in the Southeast.
IPOB leader Kanu is on trial over treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was brought back to the country.
IPOB claimed Kanu was a victim of extraordinary rendition.
The charges against Kanu read in part:
*Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwidiwe, Benjamin Madubugwu, David Nwawuisi and Kanu, in 2014 and 2015, in Nigeria and London, conspired to broadcast on Radio Biafra their plan to secede from Nigeria and form the Republic of Biafra, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C77 of 2004.
*Kanu illegally smuggled radio transmitters into Nigeria, which he used to disseminate “hate broadcasts”, encouraging the “secession of the Republic of Biafra”, from Nigeria.
*Kanu imported a Radio transmitter known as TRAM 50L, which was concealed in a container that was declared as used household items, to use same to disseminate information about secession plans by the IPOB.
*Kanu, “on or about the 28th April, 2015 in London, United Kingdom did in a broadcast on Radio Biafra monitored in Enugu, Enugu state and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, referred to Major General Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a paedophile, a terrorist, an idiot and an embodiment of evil, knowing same to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.
*The defendants committed treasonable felony, an offence punishable under Section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Act, CAP C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
*The defendants managed the affairs of the IPOB, “an unlawful society”.
IPOB seeks an independent state of Biafra.