In 1967, the Republic of Biafra, a predominantly Igbo state from southeastern Nigeria, declared its secession from Nigeria, leading to a civil war.
He rejoined Nigeria after defeat by the Nigerian military in three years war. Since 2014, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been trying to restore the Republic. The separatist group was founded by Nnamdi Kanu, a British Nigerian who is currently facing terrorism charges in a Nigerian court.
Emma Powerful has been the spokesperson of IPOB since its inception. During this period, he successfully hid his personal details from the public: he never agreed to physical interviews and spoke only on the phone or in press statements.
In this interview, Powerful tells The Africa ReportBen Ezeamalu by Ben Ezeamalu on the group’s position on the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, allegations that he is behind attacks in the South East and the practice of sitting at home in the region.
The powerful declined repeated requests for a face-to-face interview, preferring questions to be sent to him via Whatsapp.
Here are excerpts from the interview, edited for clarity:
The Africa Report: What is IPOB’s position on the 2023 general elections?