…S’East govs, Ohanaeze, PGs compiling names of IPOB members, ESN operatives to hand over to military —IPOB
…Ohanaeze warns against military deployment in S-East zone
…Igbo group worries over situation in S-East
…Increasing insecurity in S-East unsettles Anglican Bishops
By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Dennis Agbo, Ugochukwu Alaribe, Chimaobi Nwaiwu &Steve Oko
The World Igbo Congress, WIC, has rejected South East Governors’ formation of EbubeAgu as an alternative regional security outfit. The group rather, urged the governors to support the Eastern Security Network, ESN, stop their ruse and serve the people.
This came as the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB,raised the alarm that South East governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some “treacherous’ traditional rulers and Presidents General of some communities, are compiling names of suspected operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, as well as IPOB members and supporters for persecution.
This is even as the apex Igbo socio–cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned that military deployment to the South East zone may lead to the break up of Nigeria.
Similarly, a pan Igbo think-tank, Izu-Umunna Cultural Association of Nigeria, has raised concern over what it termed the deteriorating security situation in the South East of Nigeria and condemned the recent mayhem in Imo State.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, World Igbo Congress, Prof. Anthony Ejiofor, and members of the executive of the group, in a statement yesterday said they rejected the new security outfit because it is a duplication of the function of ESN.
The group said that it’s decision was reached as it became clear that the key security officers of the ethnic group that wants to see to the annihilation of Igbo race were involved in the meeting with the South east governors.
“There is an Igbo adage that counsels that you do not carry a squirrel in the same bag with corn. How do you expect Fulani security officers whose kiths and kins are the herdsmen to plan the security of the southeast? How do you expect the same people whose kiths and kins hold the sword of damocles over our heads to be our defenders? Our tormentors cannot protect us from planned annihilation. Governors should beware of the Trojan Horse!
“Considering the foregoing, World Igbo Congress, rejects the Ebubeagu security outfit following the circumstances surrounding the announcement and the bulge claim that ESN is involved in the prison break in Owerri without evidence,” it said.
WIC insisted that the governors’ impromptu behaviour was a mitigating effort against Igbo plan to protect themselves, noting that it can only support a genuine interest to the security of lives and properties in Igbo land which should be an Igbo project.
WIC further said that it would not hold apologies for demanding that homeland protection be an Igbo affair, describing the governors’ action as an abdication of the Igbo inalienable rights to self-preservation.
“”The government’s national security operatives have failed to prosecute captured Fulani bandits and they have not shown to be fair and just to the nation.
“The southeast governors need to revitalize their justice departments and begin to prosecute violators of the ‘open grazing law’ by enforcing the laws in their book. It will help in checking the marauding Fulani herdsmen. Creating a stereotype security outfit now is no longer a priority than helping in strengthening the existing ESN,” WIC stated.
According to the WIC spokesman, Hon. Basil Onwukwe, the South East governors need to work for the people and earn the confidence of the citizenry of Igboland and support the Eastern Security Network in providing all that is necessary to make it a strong security outfit for Ndigbo.
“Our homeland leaders must not be seen as tools in the hands of the Fulani who are attempting to annihilate Ndigbo and make Nigeria a Fulani conquered territory.”
S’East govs, Ohanaeze, PGs compiling names of IPOB members, ESN operatives
IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, claimed that its intelligence unit uncovered “a secret file” containing the list of the suspected ESN and IPOB members.
The list according to the statement is to be handed over to the security agencies for torture and elimination.
IPOB which said the idea was suggested to South East leaders by the federal government to weaken ESN regretted that efforts of the security outfit to flush out killer herdsmen from the zone were being sabotaged by the selfish political elite.
It noted that since the establishment of ESN, efforts to rid the zone of bandits and killer herdsmen had intensified, a development that has made the masterminds uncomfortable.
The statement read in part: “The South-Eastern governors in collaboration with traditional rulers in the zone and some PGs of communities are compiling names of suspected IPOB members in their respective communities to hand over to Nigeria security agencies for possible execution.
“The arrangement has been perfected to help Nigeria Police and Army to quickly pick anybody suspected to be IPOB member and ESN operatives in the zone.
“Our intelligence further revealed that they took this decision to launch this joint military operation to quench and permanently silence what they termed as IPOB and ESN menace in the zone.
“IPOB intelligence unit gathered that these enemies within and without have perfected arrangements to abduct our people and put them incommunicado in the security dungeons in unknown locations.
“It is unfortunate that our so called leaders could not see or observe how Fulani terrorist herdsmen are raping and murdering our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms across the Biafra territory but they see us as their problem.”
IPOB denied any link with the unknown gunmen suspected to be behind the wave of bloody attacks against security formations in the zone and wondered why its members would be marked for elimination.
“We have severally explained that ESN has nothing to do with the unknown gunmen responsible for the attacks in South East. The unknown gunmen are not ESN or IPOB. We wonder why government will continue to associate us with that group without investigations.”
IPOB argued that a government that treats bandits and killer herdsmen with kid gloves cannot claim to be unaware of the said unknown gunmen.
The pro-Biafra movement warned South East leaders to retrace their steps or brace up for the grave consequences of their action.
” If South East governors do not stop this plan against their people, IPOB will make the zone too hot for them.
“We expect all traditional rulers and PGs in the South East communities to retrace their steps before it gets too late. The land will also rise against them if they allow this to happen! Any IPOB member or ESN operative killed shall be avenged!”
The statement also advised the federal government to jettison any plans to persecute pro-Biafra groups as doing so would come with some price.
“We advise Nigeria government and her partners in crime in the zone to desist from this evil agenda because it will backfire. We are aware of their secret file but we are not going back until Biafra is finally achieved.”“
Ohanaeze warns against military deployment in S-East zone
The Engr. Chidi Ibeh faction of Ohanaeze, whic issued this warning in a statement, said the apex group’s suspicions were reinforced through evidences of serial attacks and violence perpetrated “in our zone by unknown gunmen” and warned about an influx of northern bandits causing violent attacks in the South East and South South for political reasons.
The group tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to resist the temptation for military deployment to the South East zone as it might lead to guerilla activities or another avoidable war against Ndigbo in the country.
Ohanaeze further stated that the plot to deploy the military as an ‘army of occupation’ is linked to the design to deny the south East the presidency in 2023.
“Military must focus on the insurgency in the North and refuse to fight at all fronts at the same time. Ndigbo are emergency experts and any infiltration in the process of Igbo defensive mechanism might spell doom for Nigeria. Ndigbo don’t need military deployment. There are high level manipulations to destabilize and destroy our region for political purposes and deny Ndigbo Presidency in 2023.”
Igbo group worries over security situation in S-East
A pan Igbo think-tank, Izu-Umunna Cultural Association of Nigeria, has raised concern over what it termed the deteriorating security situation in the South East of Nigeria and condemned the recent mayhem in Imo State.
The group called for restraint from those bent on plunging the region into a theatre of war and asked that thorough investigations be carried out to uncover the perpetrators of the mayhem.
The group in a statement issued in Jos and signed by its President, Ugo Ihekwuna and Secretary, Tony Egwuonwu, noted that any resort to sentimental disposition in rushing out with some names without due diligence will amount to reducing the tragedy to comic ambience.
The duo said their group is affiliated to Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the founder of Igbo Delegates Assembly, the umbrella body of Igbos resident in 19 Northern States and Abuja.
They said: “We have watched with bated breath, the recent security challenges in Nigeria, particularly as they affect Ala-Igbo. We are disturbed like other Nigerians on the deteriorating security situation in the South East of Nigeria.
“We therefore condemn in very strong terms, those who recently carried out the mayhem at Owerri, with the destruction of the Police facilities, the bombardment of the Nigeria Correctional Centre and the subsequent release of the inmates there.We ask for restraint from those responsible for the security of our people on their rather hasty conclusion on the identity of those who visited Owerri with such destructions.”
Increasing insecurity in S-East unsettles Anglican Bishops
Meantime, two Anglican Bishops, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo of the Diocese on the Niger and his Diocese of Ideato counterpart, Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke, have expressed deep concern over alleged worsening, widening and threatening insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in the South East.
The two Bishops who spoke in their separate interviews with Vanguard called on the federal and state governments to take genuine steps to stem the tide of insecurity in the country and South East in particular.
Bishop Nwokolo expressed worry that the insecurity in the country is taking a new dimension, with politicians seemingly targeting their opponents for elimination, particularly in the South East, adding that such will spell doom for the country if it is not checked.
However, his Ideato counterpart, Rt. Rev. Okeke said the escalation of insecurity in Nigeria and the failing security in the South East will not stop until Nigerian leaders show sincerity in the fight against insecurity.
Bishop Nwololo spoke at St Monica’s Church Woliwo, Onitsha shortly after the institution and induction of Rev. Canon Chinedu Nnatuanya and unvelling of a book – The Gospel of Christ: Then and Now- Mission and Inculturation, as case studies, written by Canon Nnatuanya
He said: “We have spoken extensively and we will continue to say that insecurity in the South East and Nigeria is getting out of hand. We are witnessing another type of insecurity in which it appears that opposition politicians are targeting themselves for elimination. It is something that is not part of our culture, so it is part of insecurity we are seeing in recent time. It is lawlessness that is growing. We are charging the security agencies; the federal and state governments to protect the lives and properties of the people.”