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If Oyigbo Massacre Is Not Quickly Addressed, It Could Lead To Another Civil War

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Last week, I wrote an article on the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state. The proscription of IPOB by Wike came on the heels of a clash that happened between members of the Nigerian army and IPOB protesters in Oyigbo which left many people dead and properties destroyed.

However, it was revealed that after the proscription, the soldiers have actually continued attacks on IPOB members and residents of Oyigbo community with many blaming it on Wike. A resident of the community disclosed to Edujandon that they have personally lost two people to the clash.

“I have personally lost two people that are close to me. The army just shoots at will and bullets will just touch people. The soldiers mounted roadblocks on the major roads, but we now hear that they are about to move into the streets. So, those that have gates have started to lock their gates. People are just scared really.”

This does not sound encouraging at all given all the atrocities Nigerians have been through since last month. We recall the Lekki Tollgate shooting on the 20th of October. We have equally experienced various cases of extra-judicial killings in the hands of the Nigerian army and other security agencies. What is happening in Oyigbo is totally heartbreaking.

On the one hand, one would have expected that the president stepped in by recalling these soldiers from attacking the people of Oyigbo but we all know that Buhari is a “baba go-slow”. More so, one expects of Wike whose primary role as governor of River state is being the chief security officer of the state to have stepped in immediately. It’s not enough that he proscribed IPOB.

When people die, it is never funny. When the people who are tasked with the responsibility of protecting Nigerians are the ones maiming and killing Nigerians, then that is unjustifiably bad enough. We are trying to put an end to police brutality but when we have a massacre amidst this, it sets us back instead of pushing us forward.

Whatever is happening in Oyigbo community in Rivers state must be properly investigated. Perpetrators must be brought to book. This is 2020. We cannot afford to have an ethnic cleansing on our hands. For years, it has been rumoured that Buhari and the so-called Northern cabal hate the Igbos and specially IPOB. When attacks like this happen, it only gives the impression that indeed, there is a plan to wipe out the IPOB. If this continues, it could lead to another civil war on our hands.

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