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Unusual security patrol in Onitsha, environs unsettles residents

…We remain non-violent, IPOB insists

By Chidi Nkwopara & Chimaobi Nwaiwu

NNEWI—RESIDENTS of Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra State were yesterday thrown into panic following an unusual presence of Police and Army patrolling the roads and streets of the commercial city.

IPOB members on solidarity march

At about 8.30am, more than 10 patrol Pick Up vans belonging to the Nigerian Police and Nigerian Army with heavily armed men were seen patrolling in a convoy through the roads and streets in Onitsha, including Old Market Road, New Market road, Awka road, Oguta road and other streets in Onitsha.

Some of the residents who gathered in clusters discussing the joint Police and Army patrol alleged that it might not be unconnected with the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, anti-2019 general election rally and the rally in solidarity with the re-appearance of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

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Effort to speak with the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Haruna Mohammed proved abortive as calls put through to his mobile phone did not connect and a text message sent to his phone was not responded to.

IPOB denies use of violence

However, IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, said Police and Army are just wasting their time hunting for their members.

“It is on record that since the formation and inception of IPOB, ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,we have never indulged in any violence or crime of any sort no matter the level of provocation from Nigerian government and her security agencies.

“IPOB is firmly rooted in the principle of peaceful agitation which the current Nigerian Government and her controllers are fighting  hard to change.

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“However, it is shocking and baffling that people in government have decided to propagate false information and lies against IPOB, not minding that we have remained peaceful and civil in every of our outing and conduct especially the recent ‘no election’ evangelism that happened in Nnewi Anambra State.”

FG can’t destroy Biafra by force —Bishop Enyioha

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has been advised to adopt a more humane and practical approach to the growing agitation for Biafra, instead of using force of arm.

The Founder and General Overseer of Friends of Jesus Global Mission, Owerri, Bishop Maglorious Enyioha, made the appeal weekend, while addressing a press conference in Owerri.

“The Operation Python Dance, initiated and executed by the Nigerian Army has become history. People died in the process but the agitation has remained. This calls for a more humane and practical approach than the use of force,” Enyioha said.

While saying that “the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu is a young man that can hardly control his temper,” the bishop also opined that “the Federal, Government should however look critically into the issue of Biafra agitation”.

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