The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, boasted that the governors of the south east do not have the capacity to kill the ideology of Biafra, saying the governors were rather creating insurmountable problems for themselves and their generations yet unborn.
In a related development, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has written President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to go the way of dialogue and call off the ongoing Operation Python Dance in the South-East to avoid the kind of tension that could degenerate to full scale civil war.
This came as the chairman of Igbo Leaders of Thought, Prof Ben Nwabueze, SAN, has blamed the military for allegedly scuttling the amicable resolution of IPOB’s agitation for Biafran independence by the South East Governors’ Forum, SEGF.
This is even as an Abia State Magistrate Court sitting in Aba has remanded seven suspected members of IPOB in prison for alleged murder and arson.
S’East Govs cannot kill Biafra— IPOB
IPOB Director of Media and Publicity, Emma Powerful, said in a statement, yesterday, that in their selfish way of thinking, the governors never asked themselves why the masses were supporting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, and not them.
He said: “Every right-thinking person must continue to ask South-East governors why they allowed envy and jealousy to overwhelm them to the point of inviting an entirely foreign army full of Hausa-Fulani men to come to our land to kill us because they lost the masses to IPOB.
“Is it a crime that the overwhelming number of our people loves our leader and not these governors that serve only their selfish interests and that of their masters in the North that rigged them into power?
“The ranting of some of the governors of South East zone, especially Willie Obiano and Okezie Ikpeazu to the effect that they will continue to kill innocent unarmed people fighting for their freedom in a peaceful manner, is meaningless to us.
“We will not fail to remind the South-East governors that they have lost the battle with IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. We remain conscious of the fact that mere envy and jealousy against the electrifying popularity of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu cannot and will not dent the restoration of Biafra, which the whole world is already aware of.
“Nobody can stop the agitation for Biafra freedom at this point in time; only a referendum can do that. We are putting our people and the entire world on notice that we are not relenting until this or any other Nigerian government gives us a date for referendum to decide whether we want to continue staying in this British-created contraption called Nigeria or not.”
Ekweremadu writes Buhari, urges dialogue
In calling for restraint on the part of the president, Ekweremadu, in a five-page letter, urged the president to heed the advice of his security advisers, who he said had urged the president to lessen tension in the South-East through amending his policies to include the region in his appointments and infrastructure development plans.
Ekweremadu, the highest elected political office holder from the South-East, nevertheless restated his full commitment to the territorial integrity of the country and the way of peace.
In the letter entitled “Rising tension in the South East: Re: Appeal to call off Operation Egwu Eke” and dated Thursday, September 14, Ekweremadu said he was compelled by the rising tension in the South-East occasioned by Operation Python Dance and the dangers to the nationhood inherent in it to appeal to the President “to take immediate steps to avert another civil war in Nigeria.”
Nwabueze flays military
Nwabueze said he attended a peace meeting brokered by the SEGF where the Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, had agreed to discuss with the leadership of IPOB on how to maintain peace and order in the South-East, adding that the reconvened meeting of September 15 was called off at the last minute by Nnamdi Kanu, following the military attack on his country home, leading to the killing of two of his cousins among others in the process.
Court remands 7 suspected IPOB members in prison
The seven suspects, Chinonso Ude, Maduabuchi Echereodo, Ukochukwu Ikechukwu, Okechukwu Daniel, Okezie Jeremiah, Chizuruoke Nwanmuo and Ifeanyi Sunday, were arraigned on 12-count charge, which included murder of an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Cyril Nwosu; setting ablaze the Ariaria Police station as well as burning of exhibit vehicles and theft of pump action rifles.
In his argument, counsel for the 1st, 2nd and 6th accused, Charles Onuchukwu, who applied for bail for the accused, stated that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain a case of murder, terrorism and kidnapping. But prosecuting counsel, ASP Nnamdi Ogbonna, held that the court has jurisdiction to make order on the matter.
After listening to the arguments of the counsel, Magistrate Ogbonna Adiele ordered the accused to be remanded at the Aba Prisons and adjourned till September 27, 2017, for plea and ruling.
Stop provoking arms struggle —CSOs
Meantime, the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, South East Zone, yesterday, said the actions and inaction of the President Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian Army and the South-East governors over the ugly scenario in Abia State and by extension, Igboland is provocative and leaves much to be desired.
Also, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, INTERSOCIETY, has warned that enough is enough of the terrorizing activities of the Federal Government of Nigeria with the Nigerian Army against the people of the South-East.
This is even as the Campaign for Democracy CD, South East Zone, has described the alleged proscription of IPOB and labelling them as terrorist group as intimidation against the people of South-East and an action, which lacks relevant law governing it and military leadership lack of proper education of relevant international law.
CLO in a statement after its meeting, signed by its South East Zone chairman, Comrade Aloysius Attah and Abia Zonal Treasurer, Comrade Pedro Azuogu, said “South East is not at war, and prior to the deployment of troops and armoured tanks into Abia and other states, we had warned against the militarization of the zone, noting that such moves instead of providing security will further aggravate and escalate agitations and tensions thereby producing a negative effect.”
I can’t be silenced — Fayose
Similarly, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, yesterday, said nobody can cow him into silence over his criticism of Federal Government’s handling of the agitation by Nnamdi Kanu and his followers in IPOB.
Fayose declared that he will continue to speak out against injustice meted out to anybody or group in any part of the country, saying nobody can silence him
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, yesterday, the governor said leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state who accused him of sponsoring IPOB were not only mischievous, but only embarked on cheap blackmail that failed woefully to achieve any result.
He said: “We cannot all be cowed. The militarization of Nigeria, being witnessed now can only be likened to 1984 when General Muhammadu Buhari was military Head of State.
“Killing people in the South-East just because some people are agitating is wrong and I wonder why none of our so-called human rights activists is talking.
“Herdsmen have sacked a whole community in this country, has anyone been arrested for all the killings by herdsmen?
“If because I am speaking against the wanton killings being done by the military in the South-East, the APC is saying that I’m funding IPOB, was I the one funding the people of Southern Kaduna when I condemned the killings there? Was I funding the Agatus in Benue State when I condemned their killings by Fulani herdsmen?
“Was I funding the Shiite Muslims when I condemned the killings of El-Zakzaky followers in Zaria?”
Ndigbo Germany condemn killings of in Abia
In a related move, the leadership of Ndigbo Germany, the umbrella association of all Igbo unions in Germany, yesterday, condemned the killing of Igbo youths in Abia by the military.
In a statement signed by Peter Eze, Co-ordinator, Ndigbo Germany Inc. Frankfurt, Germany, the group condemned what it called the invasion of the Igbo territory of South-Eastern Nigeria by the fully armed military of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The satement read: “We take cognizance of the provocation, intimidation, brutalization and killings of the civilian population of largely Igbo ethnicity carried out by the fully armed military of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
“We note with apprehension the possibility of a resultant breakdown in law and order due to unpredictable and uncontrollable angry reactions by a provoked civilian population that fears itself to be facing state-sponsored destruction, coupled with the attendant unnecessary conflicts that could be triggered off between different ethnic nationalities.
“We observe with horror the body language and actions of the fully armed military of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which suggest that it is preparing to use this deliberately provoked chaos in the South-East as a deceitful mock-excuse to launch a full scale, scorched earth, genocidal offensive against the civilian population of mainly Igbo ethnicity in South-Eastern Nigeria.”