The much-publicised posthumous birthday celebration of former Biafran leader, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, did not hold yesterday allegedly on the orders of the Department of State Services (DSS).
It was gathered that the DSS directed that the event be put off over reports that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had planned to storm the venue in their large numbers.
The source said it was feared that the group might “capitalise on the symbolic event to embark on demonstration and other actions that may undermine the security of lives and property in the state.”
A member of the Planning Committee and Executive Director of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Leadership Foundation (COOLF), Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, confirmed to The Guardian yesterday that they were “asked to suspend the event by the DSS over reports of infiltration by IPOB.
“We have prepared all that needed to be done when we received the information last night asking us to put off the event.
“We, however, have agreed that the event will now hold in the next two weeks, on November 25 precisely. That is the situation for now.”
He assured that efforts would be made to observe all that had been lined up for the event, including lectures, film shows and speeches, among others.
The botched event, billed for the secretariat of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu, was put together by several Igbo organisations, including Igbo Information Network, World Igbo Leadership and Ndinne Igbo, as a prelude to the commencement of the celebration of the death of Ojukwu on November 26, 2011.
It would also feature the flag-off of COOLF, which would be involved in organising symposia, workshops and lectures on key local and national issues.
Also, Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nworgu, confirmed the shift in date, saying though it was not an Ohanaeze Ndigbo event, “it will no longer hold as planned, because we heard that IPOB members will be storming the venue and DSS has directed that it be put off.”He, however, said that the leadership of the apex Igbo organisation has approved the use of its national secretariat for the event.