EBONYI State government yesterday said the activities of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, would not be tolerated in the state.
This came as the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, Anambra State Command vowed to deal decisively with any individual or group, under any guise, who disrupts public peace.
The police insisted that IPOB, as a proscribed organisation, lacked the legitimacy to declare a protest order but IPOB in a reaction, said the Police can’t stop it from carrying out its religious obligation to Biafran fallen heroes. Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Mr. Garba Umar, who described the group as “misguided elements,” urged the people in the state to disregard the order and go about their lawful businesses, assuring that the state Police command is on top of the situation.
“The command, with other security agencies, will not hesitate to deal decisively with any individual or group under any guise, who disrupts public peace,” he said. But members of IPOB, numbering about 2,000, yesterday, around 12.05 pm marched through Zik’s Round-about Onitsha, through Awka Road, Old Market Road and headed towards Onitsha Main Market, chanting songs in sensitisation of the people that its sit-at-home directive must be strictly adhered by every good Igbo man.
The group grounded vehicular movements from Zik Roundabout, to Onitsha Main Market, as motorists were driving behind them, hailing their peaceful conduct.
Ebonyi govt opposes sit-at-home order Addressing newsmen in Abakaliki, the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to Governor David Umahi on Internal Security, Hon. Kenneth Ugbala who called on citizens of the state to go about their lawful businesses on May 30th, stressed that the current administration would deal with any person or group of persons who would want to cause mayhem or violate the fundamental rights of Ebonyi people on that day.
He said: “We are here today to disabuse the minds of workers at all levels, that there is nothing like sit-at-home order in Ebonyi State. “We are not against people championing a cause, but it should be done according to procedure, rule of law and the law of the land.
Workers are hereby directed to go about their lawful businesses without any form of intimidation or blackmail from MASSOB or IPOB.” IPOB defies security agents’ threats IPOB members, who were dressed mostly in white singlets with their shirts tied on their waists, wore Igbo traditional caps to match, waving their flags and showed decorum in their behaviour by not molesting any road user and motorists who were driving patiently behind them.
They also distributed leaflets bearing, “2018 Biafra Heroes Remembrance Day: We remember the fallen heroes of 1967 to 70, including victims of Asaba MassacThe leaflets contained photographs of late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Timothy Onwuatuegwu, Major-General Philip Effiong, Col. Joe Oseloka Achuzie, flag of Radio Biafra, photographs of corpses of victims of different attacks on IPOB and other killings in Nigeria with a small picture of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu raising his right hand to signify freedom for Biafrans.
Some of the songs the IPOB members chanted while marching included: “Our sit at home real;” “Good Biafrans must without force observe sit-at-home;” “Biafra actualization is now, do not dare us;” “Police, Army, Navy and DSS leave us alone to celebrate our people you killed;” and “We must achieve Biafra without violence.” …accuses two S’East govs of sabotage However, IPOB said it had discovered that two South East governors and some unscrupulous individuals and saboteurs, particularly, an Nnewi indigene, a medical practitioner and a self acclaimed church Bishop, had written a memo to Aso Rock, soliciting funds to enable them hold a rally on Wednesday to counter its sit-at-home directive. In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB said: “It is therefore, with a sense of shock and dismay that we received the news that two governors and certain unscrupulous individuals in search of money, have decided to seek sponsorship from Aso Rock to organise a counter event to give the world the impression that Biafrans have no regard for their heroes. “We want to assure all individuals involved that their treacherous gathering scheduled for Oba on the 30th of May will be resoundingly rejected by the people.
The era of petty saboteurs and traitors running to their Hausa-Fulani overlords in Abuja to fund subversive activities against the collective interest of the people ended with the coming of IPOB. “Any person or group of persons found outside on Wednesday, the 30th of May, 2018 will be cursed by both the living and the dead. The remembrance of the sacrifice of our heroes on the 30th of May superscedes any electoral or financial benefits to any individual or group.
MASSOB, 12 pro-Biafra groups join anniversary Also yesterday, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, as well as 12 other pro-Biafran groups said that May 30th would be used to pray for Biarfrans who died in the hands of herdsmen, Boko Haram as well as security agents. According to Comrade Kingsley Madu, in a release to Vanguard in Owerri, “on the 29th May, there will be a candle light procession.” He added that it would be used to celebrate 51 years declaration of Biafra by Late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
However, he declined to mention the venue for the celebration but said new ways would be discussed for the actualisation of the Republic of Biafra. “We insist on a more eloquent and interactive commemoration anniversary where the members and people of Biafra will interface and reflect soberly on the real issues concerning Biafra emancipation,” he stated. “Until the diverse ethnic nationalities that make up the Biafra nation come together, liaise together, interface together and agree on the strategic way forward, Biafra actualisation may be a mere wish. ” Among the pro Biafra groups mentioned by Madu included: Eastern Peoples Congress ,EPC; Igbo Youth Cultural and Restoration Initiative ,IYCRI; Bilie Human Rights Initiative ,BHRI; Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria,MOBIN; Biafran National Liberation Council ,BNLC; Biafran Revolutionary Organisation ,BRO; Biafran Liberation Crusade ,BLC; Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra ,JRCB; and Biafra Revolutionary Force ,BRF, amongst others. Imo joins other Nigerians to observe Day of Mourning In a related development, scores of Imo people yesterday, joined other Nigerians across the country to mourn and remember the victims of violent killings in Nigeria. The peaceful protest was carried out under the umbrella body of Imo Peoples Action for Democracy, IPAD, at a solemn assembly held at the Imo State University Junction, Okigwe Road, Owerri. The visibly angry members of IPAD, not only observed one minute silence in honour of victims of violence, but also prayed fervently for the repose of their souls. All the speakers paid glowing tribute to the 10-year old boy, Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, who they said “was gruesomely murdered during the illegal demolition of Ekeukwu Owerri Market.” The group equally remembered all the pensioners who died as a result of non-payment of their pension and gratuity, in Imo State. They also condemned in very strong terms, what they called “the unreported killings going on in the oil producing communities of Imo State. Speaking to newsmen thereafter, the Coordinator of IPAD, Comrade Aku Obidinma, called on the Federal Government to live up to it’s responsibilities of protecting lives and properties in the country.
Ohanaeze youths bemoan communication gap with pro-Biafra groups Similarly, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing from the seven states that made up the pan-Igbo territory, yesterday expressed concern over what it termed the communication gap which existed among all Igbo youth groups, saying that the gap was responsible for the excesses of a majority of Igbo youths under the auspices of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups.
The youth wing therefore called for immediate swearing-in of Mazi Uchenna Arthur Obiora (Chinetugo) as the National Leader of Ohanaeze Youth Wing, having been elected in a credible, fair and transparent election conducted by the Ezechi Chukwu-led Ohanaeze National Executive Council, NEC, election committee, adding that the swearing in of Obiora would help to bridge the gap and bring about a harmonious relationship among all the Igbo youths, including those in IPOB and other pro-Biafra groups.