BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE
ABA- In a bid to contain the increasing protest by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra, MASSOB, and ensure adequate protection of lives and property in Aba, Abia State, the 14 Brigade, Ohafia, has concluded plans to relocate its command headquarters to the city.
Speaking to newsmen, Commanding Officer, 14 Brigade Ohafia, Brigadier General Lawrence Fejokwu, who stated this at 144 Battalion, Asa, Ukwa West council area, noted that Aba had become a hot spot because of the activities of the IPOB and MASSOB agitating for the actualization of a sovereign state of Biafra, as well as the resurgence of kidnapping and sundry crimes, stressing that all hands should be on deck to tackle the trend.
He appealed to the pro Biafra protesters to halt their protest, rescind their decision to bear weapons and channel their grievances to the appropriate authorities.
According to him, “I have gone around to familiarize myself with my location and men. My decision is that Aba have continued to be a hot spot especially on the activities of IPOB and MASSOB and the issue of kidnapping. To this effect, I have decided to, after due clearance with my boss, the GOC, to relocate our tactical headquarters from Ohafia to Aba to see how far we can go in arresting the situation.
“In doing so, I urge the IPOB and MASSOB to rescind their decision to bear arms and stop acts of violence and channel their grievances to the appropriate authorities.”
He denied reports that soldiers killed pro Biafra protesters in Aba, but admitted some of them were arrested and later handed over to the police. “We did our own investigation and discovered that no soldier was involved in shooting IPOB and MASSOB members.
The Brigade Commander promised to dialogue with the leadership of the protesting pro Biafra group to convince them to eschew violence and tow the path of peace.
“I don’t mind dialoging with the pro Biafra groups if that will bring peace. If they want to pray; at the end of it, they should quietly go back to their houses. But in a situation where prayers lead to procession which will disturb the peace of the state, no security agency will sit and watch that happen. We will continue to appeal to them to tow the path of peace. As at today, there is no pro Biafra protester in our custody.”
He vowed to collaborate with sister security agencies to end the resurgence of kidnapping in Aba and environs and make the city a safe haven for investors and residents.