By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—Following the Nigerian Army denial that it did not kill 11 members the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, during the group’s rally in support of US President, Donald Trump, on January 20, 2017, IPOB has asked the army to wait for them at the International Criminal Court, ICC, in The Hague.
IPOB also accused the army of alternating between calling its outing in Port Harcourt a “protest” and a “rally” at the same time.
The group, therefore, said it was only a liar that could describe a rally as a protest, saying that “the Nigerian Army has been caught in another web of lies.”
Deputy Director of Army Public Relations of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, had in a statement denied killing of IPOB members and labelled the group as a “criminal gang.”
But IPOB spokesmen, Mr Emma Nmezu, and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, in their reply to the Army, said it has become customary for the army to kill IPOB members and deny it.
“This is not the first, neither is it going to be the last time that the Nigerian Army will kill our members and shamelessly come out to deny it.”
IPOB gave a list of its members killed by the Army to include IPOB massacres in Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt, Nkpor, Asaba; Shiite massacres in Kaduna and Kano, among others.
Part of the IPOB statement read: “International human rights groups have consistently labelled the Nigerian Army as perennial liars incapable of ever telling the truth when it comes to their culpability in the mass execution of unarmed civilians.
“IPOB and those who read the haphazardly written statements from Col. Aminu Iliyasu are left wondering how on the one hand he stated that IPOB conducted a rally in support of President Trump while on the other hand, he called it a protest.
“IPOB will like to remind this quota-system Colonel that the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-written Nigerian Constitution which he referred to is very explicit on the responsibilities of the Nigerian Armed Forces (not just the Army alone), especially in Section-217(2) and this does not in any way stipulate using live ammunition on peaceful and unarmed civilians.
“We will also like to remind Iliyasu that security agencies, media organizations, foreign embassies, and specifically, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State were all informed ahead of time of the pro-Trump rally, through an official letter signed by the leadership of IPOB.
“This Colonel must understand that a rally or even a protest is not an armed rebellion that will warrant deployment of troops of 29 Battalion of Nigerian Army with a mandate to fire live bullets at peaceful and unarmed civilians.
“May we ask why the same deployment of troops was not carried out on those who protested against President Trump in Abuja on the same date?
“How come troops were not deployed to shoot and kill civilians during the recent “anti-Buhari” protest that was led by the likes of Charles Oputa a.k.a. Charlie Boy? Why must the Hausa-Fulani dominated Nigerian Army and Police regard every IPOB assembly or rally as an opportunity to embark upon some kind of mini Jihad designed to kill as many non-Muslims as possible?
“IPOB is extremely pleased that what transpired that day was captured on pictures and videos as most of the unspeakable atrocities of the Nigerian Army and police are.
“On his insinuation, borne out of panic, that IPOB will post old videos and pictures from our archives in social media, we advise the Colonel not to worry but to leave the authentication of the evidence we have to the civilized panel of judges at the International Criminal Court, ICC.”
“It is reassuring to observe that at least the lying Nigerian Army is aware that all their murderous outrage on January 20, 2017 were captured on video.”