Breaking News

IPOB didn’t burn down any mosque —Police

…IPOB protests at UN General Assembly
…APC policies, cause of uprisings— PDP
…We’ve moral obligation to keep Nigeria united —Shetima
…Lack of communication, bane of Nigeria —Okorocha
…IPOB didn’t burn down any mosque —Police

By Chioma Gabriel, Emma Amaize, Emeka Mamah, Henry Umoru, Dapo Akinrefon, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Dirisu Yakubu & Chinonso Alozie

Abuja—The Federal Government said, yesterday that  it  is aware of sources of funding of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and is taking steps to block them.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he appeared on a live television programme, Good Morning Nigeria on Nigerian Television Authority, NTA,  .

This came at a time   members of IPOB stormed  the  72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to protest  the military invasion of South-East states and what they called  dehumanization of the people in the zone.

This is even as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a swipe at the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, over the latter’s recent statement linking the uprisings by IPOB  to  opposition political parties.

IPOB members. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

FG to block IPOB funding sources

According to Mohammed, “terrorists do not publish where their funding are coming from. But we know the countries that are supporting IPOB. We know the sources of their funding though I am not at liberty to disclose them here.

“We are taking steps to block them and we are also taking a lot of diplomatic actions in respect of the countries that are supporting them.”

The minister said most of the countries supporting the group were doing so based on ignorance, adding that they had been hoodwinked to believing that “Nigeria is a country where Muslims persecute Christians” and a country where there is genocide.

“As we speak, IPOB has written letters to many governments outside Nigeria, international parliaments sending fake and cloned videos claiming there is genocide in Nigeria.”

The minister charged the international community not to adopt double standard in dealing with IPOB and to be more diligent before making any pronouncements.

He said what the countries would never accept in their territories, should not be condoned or encouraged in Nigeria.

The minister justified the actions of the military for declaring IPOB a terrorist group as well as its proscription by the South-East governors.

He said: “There are a lot of arguments regarding the constitutionality of the action of the military and the South-East governors.

“People must realise that we are dealing with issue of national security and I do not think that the military and the governors should fold their arms while the country is set ablaze.

“I have heard a lot of comments as to whether the military has the right to declare IPOB a terrorist group.

“What the military has done is to catalogue all the activities of IPOB, which are not different from that of terrorist groups.”

IPOB protests at UN General Assembly

Waving Biafra flags and singing songs, the agitators, who are based in the United States and other countries, said  they were protesting the killings and destruction of properties  during the military invasion in Abia State.

APC policies, cause of IPOB’s uprisings—PDP

In a statement signed by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party counselled the APC-led administration to look inward to unravel the horde of difficulties it is currently battling rather than blaming the opposition for same.

According to the statement, “the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is constrained once again to respond to the tirade by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who as usual, made an attempt at blaming a superficial opposition for the continuous gaffe of the Federal Government under the leadership of his party, the All Progressives Congress , APC.

“We had advised not a few times, that the APC should look inward and seek solutions to its self-induced challenges in government caused by its unpreparedness for governance; but since the party seem set for self destruction, we shall not relent in helping to expose their ineptitude to the Nigerian populace.

“It is disheartening that rather than accept blame for its ineptitude, the APC government has continued to blame ‘enemies’ real or imaginary for their woes.

“How on earth will a serious minded government blame opposition parties, which they have conveniently labelled ‘looters’ for the activities of IPOB? But we take solace in the fact that the APC might actually know the looters, as the party has clearly demonstrated its penchant for giving covers to people considered as corrupt.

“The recent release of 48 houses confiscated as proceed of crime back to a member of the APC who was standing trial for allegations of corruption readily comes to mind.

“Much as we will continue to harp on the one sided corruption fight of this administration, we wish to urge the APC to look inwards in locating the looters using their ill-gotten wealth to sponsor separatist agitation against the government of the day.”

….PDP  S-Africa too

In a similar vein, Chairman of PDP in South Africa, Mr. Ekos Akpokabayen, also condemned what he described as the use of force to stop agitations in the South-East by the Nigerian Army, noting that Nigerians should avoid agitations that could lead to war.

Akpokabayen, who said this in a statement, urged the Federal Government to strengthen the various institutions of governance in the country.

His words: “The PDP in South Africa strongly condemns the use of unnecessary force by the Nigerian Army in the South-East region of Nigeria. We at the same time call on our citizens to obey the law  and protest in a peaceful way without inciting violence. People should not  provoke and agitate for war or fighting.”

We’ve a moral obligation to keep Nigeria united—Shetima

Also, yesterday, chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shetima, said Nigerians have a moral obligation to keep the country united.

Governor Shetima also commended governors from the South-East for steps taken in dousing the tension following the army’s recent Operation Python Dance II in the zone.

He said this, on Monday, when he led three other Northern governors on a peace mission to the South East and paid a courtesy visit on Governor Rochas Okorocha of  Imo State.

Shetima said they were on a tour of South-East and South-South states to reassure northerners living in the zones and also to prevent a “mass exodus of Nigerians from one part of the country to the other.”

Lack of communication

bane of Nigeria— Okorocha

In his remarks, Governor Okorocha attributed lack of communication to the problems facing the country.

He said there was need for leaders and governors of the country to assure Nigerians of a sense of belonging.

Okorocha also commended the initiative of the northern governors to tour the South-East and South-South regions.

He said: “let me thank you for this impressive outing and travelling many kilometres to make sure you speak the language of peace. I  must commend you and thank you on behalf of the people of Imo State.”

Ohanaeze kicks against frivolous court order on IPOB

Apex Igbo organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in a related development   has warned courts in Nigeria not to allow themselves to be used against IPOB.

In a statement, yesterday, by President-General of Ohaneze, Chief Nnia Nwodo, he urged the courts not  to undermine the nation’s democratic process by granting frivolous orders against IPOB.

Nwodo who noted that the Ohanaeze has credible intelligence that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has secretly approached courts to obtain an order to designate IPOB as a terrorist group, said that such move was not only illegal, but aimed at furthering the harassment and intimidation of Igbo youths who have been pursuing their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights.

IPOB didn’t burn down any mosque —Police

Meanwhile,  IPOB  has denied ever burning a mosque at Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, saying it was not a violent organisation.

It further said it has no quarrel with Muslims in the country or elsewhere and as such had no reason to burn down their place of worship, as alleged by the enemy.

Confrming IPOB’s position, Enugu State Police Command, yesterday, warned residents against spreading rumour and blatant lies capable of jeopardizing existing peace in the state.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, gave the warning in a statement in Enugu.

He, however, said that contrary to the claims, preliminary investigations showed that electrical power surge was responsible for the inferno at the mosque.

He said: “The issue is that there was an incident and that incident involved inferno.

“When we first heard about it, we moved in with a view to finding out what actually happened.The incident happened at the wee hours of Saturday, September 16 at about 2 a.m.

“When we got there, following our preliminary investigations, we discovered that it could have been as a result of power surge.

“However, the following morning, we started hearing all sorts of things that are blatant lies.

“We need to put  things in their proper perspective to avoid mixing up issues.”


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