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IPOB vs DSS: ‘Since 2015, 500 defenseless Igbo have been killed, de-proscribe IPOB now’ – Civil Rights Group, Ohanaeze reacts



PRESIDENT General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, yesterday, vowed that Ndigbo will unearth the circumstances surrounding the massacre of Igbo youths by security agencies at Emene-Enugu, last Sunday.

This came as Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi summoned an emergency State Security Council meeting..

Nwodo, who spoke for the first time after the bloodbath, said Ohanaeze kept studied silence all the while to gather adequate information before making any speech.

He, however, said that after meeting with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Wednesday, he decided to break the silence, moreso, when different fake news were attributed to him on social media platforms.

Nwodo’s media aide, Emeka Attama, in a statement he issued on behalf of his principal on Wednesday, disclosed that Ohanaeze had been briefed of efforts by Enugu State government to unravel the cause, extent of fatalities and those responsible for the killings in a State Security Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday September 1.

The statement read in part: “In the last two days, news had broken out about clashes between the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Nigerian security agencies in Emene, Enugu State. Since the outbreak of this development, Ohanaeze has been involved in getting to the root cause.

“Whilst these investigations were going on, fake Twitter accounts and fake Facebook accounts and press releases bearing the name of the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, have inundated the social and mass media. It has become necessary to make it abundantly clear that Chief Nwodo, until now, has not commented on this development.

“This evening (Wednesday) after an exhaustive meeting with Enugu State Governor, who by law is the Chief Security Officer of Enugu State, Ohanaeze was briefed of efforts by the state government to unravel the cause, extent of fatalities and those responsible for them in a State Security Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 1, to hear and evaluate the accounts of all concerned in this sad development.

“Ohanaeze is saddened by the grave fatalities occasioned by this development and is determined to get to the root cause of this unfortunate event. We mourn the sad loss of all our children and other Nigerians whose lives were wasted as a result of this sad development. We await the outcome of the Enugu State Security Council inquisition and advise all and sundry to discountenance all false releases attributed to the President General. Our final statement on this subject will be made in due course.”

Ugwuanyi summons emergency security meeting

The meeting, summoned by Governor Ugwuanyi, according to a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, will hold on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at the Executive Council Chambers, Lion Building, Government House, Enugu and scheduled for 2pm and not Thursday, August 27, as stated by Nwodo.

The statement added that “all security agencies in the state are expected to brief His Excellency, the Governor fully on the immediate and remote causes of the clashes, as well as advance measures to avert such occurrences in the future.”

It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi visit the scene of the clash and assured that normalcy had returned.

WIC demands travel ban on govt officials

Also yesterday, the World Igbo Congress, WIC, demanded that travel ban be placed on government officials who supervised the mayhem.

Public Relations Officer of WIC, Hon Basil Onwukwe, said: “The lives of Christians in Nigeria matter. We demand a travel ban on all government officials in Nigeria who have been involved in the killing of Christians and unarmed assembled youths anywhere in the country.”

Onwukwe said that WIC was alarmed on the continued killing of unarmed Igbo Christian youths, noting that “the recent Sunday morning massacre of Igbo Christian youths in Enugu at Keystone Station was a deliberate, usual Islamic radicals’ agenda, coordinated by their folks in government and military that routinely look away when such purposeful terrorism takes place in Igbo region.”

The World Igbo Congress called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government of Nigeria and Enugu State government, led by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to explain to the world why the lives of Christians in their domain were never protected.

WIC said: “The government has resolved to intimidate and scare indigenes from protesting failed economy and leadership. Thus, the freedom of assembly becomes a crime, while the cronies continue to run the nation to the ground.

“The same Nigeria security watches in acquiescence, the daylight mayhem unleashed by Boko Haram terrorists and their agents without combating them; but carelessly, the peaceful assembly of Christians on a Sunday morning attracted joint military assault, only in the Christian region of Igbo land.

“The gruesome killing of unarmed Igbo youths in Enugu State by combined forces of the Army, DSS, SARS, and the Police forces is unacceptable. This is an unwholesome act perpetrated by security agents and the Eastern States Governors have been unperturbed.

“If the governors decide to abandon the basic responsibility of protecting the lives and property of our people, we must demand that everyone start to protect themselves and overcome the present siege in our homeland. Self protection, any where in the world is not a crime.”

Invitation of military by Police CP lethal —Ejimakor

Meanwhile, the reported invitation of the military by the Commissioner of Police, CP, Enugu State, has been described as “lethal and premeditated violence”.

An Owerri-based legal practitioner, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, stated this yesterday when Vanguard sought his view on the issue.

“The invitation of the military, ahead of the attack on the Igbos killed in Emene, Enugu State, demonstrated premeditation for lethal violence on the part of the Commissioner of Police.

This premeditation stems from the customary lack of empathy exhibited by Northern Muslim security chiefs and other ranks towards Ndigbo when it comes to law enforcement, he said.

He recalled with grief that this had always been the case since August 2015, when easy mass murders of Ndigbo, under the guise of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, got underway.

500 defenseless Easterners killed in similar operation since 2015 —Intersociety

In a similar vein, the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, has alleged that at least 500 defenseless Easterners have been killed, while 550 others were injured in a similar clash.

In a statement signed by the board charman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, the group described Sunday’s attack on IPoB members as “shameless and condemnable,” adding that it was the 15th time such operation would be visited on innocent citizens of Nigeria.

The statement read: “What happened in Emene, Enugu, on Sunday was an unprovoked massacre against defenseless citizens of Igbo extraction. This is clearly the 15th of the Nigerian security forces well coordinated massacres targeted at unarmed and defenseless Judeo-Christian citizens of old Eastern Nigeria extraction.

“Such massacres which started on 30th August 2015 had taken place in Onitsha, Enugu, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt and Asaba on 30th August 2015; Onitsha again on 2nd and 17th December, 2015; Aba on 29th January and 9th February 2016.”

Other places such attacks had happened, according to the group, include “Onitsha, Nkpor and Asaba on 29th and 30th May 2016; Port Harcourt on 20th January 2017; Aba, Isiala Ngwa, Ogwe and Umuahia on 11th to 14th September, 2017.

” Oraifite-Anambra on 2nd December 2019 (State terrorism) and Emene-Enugu on Sunday, 23rd August 2020; bringing the total number of such massacres to at least 15, involving killing of now over 500 defenseless Judeo-Christian citizens of old Eastern Nigeria extraction and injuring of over 550 others.”

S-East govs afraid —Anaekwe

Also reacting to the attacks, a former chairman, Onitsha Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, OMATA, Chief Ozoh Anaekwe warned that Igbo youths were being pushed to defend themselves and take their destiny in their hands.

Chief Anaekwe said the South East governors have refused to condemn the unprovoked attack on their people because they were afraid that the Federal Government would unleash the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on them over their financial activities.

“The South East Governors cannot defend, speak or do anything that will protect Igbos because they all have something to hide and therefore, afraid of Federal Government and EFCC hammer.”

De-proscribe IPOB —Igbo lawyers

In a related development, a group of Igbo lawyers yesterday in Awka, urged the federal government to de-proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, arguing that it would reduce agitations by members of the group.

The group, under the aegis of League of Igbo Youth Lawyers, also urged the federal government to stop applying force in tackling issues concerning IPOB and other similar groups to reduce the tension in the South East.

Leader of the group, Mr. Stanley Okafor said the people of South East geopolitical zone recently faced series of persecution from the federal government which should have applied “proper integration of Igbo into the Nigerian project.”

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