•Condemns Enugu shooting
•As Umahi backs political solution for Kanu’s incarceration
•Says IPOB now fighting criminals, kidnappers in S-East
•Charges Ohanaeze not to dabble into politics
•As Police confirmed the killing of EbubeAgu operative in Ebonyi
•Tension in Okigwe, Ehime in Imo over bandits, kidnappers
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Peter Okutu & Chimaobi Nwaiwu, NNEWI
THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, told South-East governors and members of the public to as a matter of urgency, deal decisively with criminals still enforcing Monday weekly sit-at-home.
IPOB also lamented what it called the senseless shooting in Enugu State on Monday which it alleged was done by hoodlums and cultists recruited and sponsored by some evil politicians in the state who derive joy in spilling the blood of their fellow citizens.
This came as the chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi said he backs a political solution to Nnamdi Kanu’s incarceration.
This is even as the Ebonyi State Police Command, yesterday, confirmed the killing of a member of the southeast security outfit code-named EbubeAgu in the state. The victim, Ifeanyi Orogbo, 32, was murdered and partially burnt by his assailants.
Meantime, residents of the Okigwe local government area yesterday said they now live in fear as a result of the activities of bandits and kidnappers.
‘Treat anybody enforcing sit-at-home as criminal’
A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled, South-East Governors, members of the public should deal decisively with criminals enforcing Monday sit-at-home” said that IPOB has severally explained that it has not authorized anybody to enforce Monday sit-at-home which has been suspended since August 19, 2021.
The pro-Biafra group also told the South-East Governors and the general public to treat as a criminal, anybody unleashing terror on innocent citizens under the guise of enforcing sit-at-home order because they do not deserve pity.
IPOB’s statement read: “The attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has been drawn to the senseless shooting in Enugu State on Monday by hoodlums and cultists recruited and sponsored by some evil politicians in the state who derive joy in spilling the blood of their fellow citizens.
“We have severally explained that IPOB has not authorized anybody to enforce Monday sit-at-home, which has been suspended since August 19, 2021. Anybody unleashing terror on innocent citizens under the guise of enforcing sit-at-home order is a criminal and does not deserve pity.
“Despite the suspension of Monday Sit-At-Home since 19th of August 2021, some unscrupulous elements and criminals conniving with security agencies and our enemies, have continued to inflict pain on our people. Their aim is to blackmail IPOB, but they will continue to fail.
“Now, we want to inform our people to stand firm in the fight for their liberty. IPOB did not ask anybody to enforce sit-at-home of any kind. Henceforth, ESN operatives will come from the bushes and forests and go after these criminals unleashing mayhem on innocent people and visitors to Biafra land in the name of enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home order.
“We, therefore, urge Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to deal decisively with any hoodlum using Monday sit-at-home to torture innocent citizens/residents of the state.
“No genuine member of IPOB or ESN operative is involved in any enforcement of Monday sit-at-home order. Anybody doing so is working against Biafra restoration and for a criminal group.
“We equally call on our people and members of the public to skin alive, any idiot caught inflicting sorrow on the people in the name of enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home order. Such an evil soul and messenger of death doesn’t deserve to live.
“Those shooting sporadically in the market are criminals and bandits using the name of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and ESN to humiliate our people and demonize the movement. Their aim is to give the federal government excuse to hold our leader perpetually in detention.
“ESN operatives are ready and poised to confront criminals creating these problems in the name of ESN and IPOB in the region. We have suspended Monday Sit-At-Home a long time ago, and we have not rescinded that decision. Biafrans must be strong to withstand our enemies and their collaborators every Monday.
“IPOB was not formed to terrorise people. We remain peaceful and focused on the pursuit of Biafra freedom and independence. Governor Ugwuanyi and other Governors in the region must provide security for our people on Mondays because ESN is now ready to confront these criminals.
“Nobody should link IPOB or ESN with these bunch of criminals acting in our region and those enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home order. How can we stop sit-at-home and turning around to compel people to observe it?
“We are not hypocrites and we must come out victorious. The media should stop linking IPOB and ESN with the criminals behind this sad development. They are not our members and we can never accommodate this kind of criminals in our movement and family of IPOB.”
Political Solution for Nnamdi Kanu–Umahi
Similarly, the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Engineer Dave Umahi has made case for a political solution to Kanu’s incarceration.
Speaking with Journalists in Abuja after declaring for the 2023 Presidency, Umahi said: “Let me also add that as the chairman of Southeast Governors Forum, that I support a political solution to our insecurity problems in the southeast. And of course, I mentioned it to Mr President
“You see, the political solution does not terminate the judicial process. And if you know Mr President very well, he has always said and has always demonstrated that he wouldn’t interfere with any judicial process. Everybody knows him for that. But you remember very well, that if an agreement is reached between parties, you don’t expect Mr President to be the negotiator. There are a lot of federal government officials.
“So, I believe strongly that if the southeast is proposing for a political solution, they should be able to engage the federal government. After all, there’s always what is called out-of-court settlement but it is for our people and our brother Kanu to be willing for us to truly engage so that we can find true peace in our region because the activities there have destroyed a lot of the economy of the people. A lot of lives have been lost and we were shooting it that it wasn’t going to benefit (anyone) because agitation shouldn’t have gone the way it did.
IPOB fighting criminals
Umahi said further: “Today, the matter has gone beyond them. You know, every criminal, kidnapper, armed robber tend to claim IPOB and IPOB, in turn, is fighting them. But I think, it is late. So, we desire peace, we desire to save the lives of our people. And so, we are willing to engage, to see that we have an amicable settlement. And you know, rebuild the economy of South East.”
Reminded that this should be the starting point of his engagement, he said: “You see, the leaders of the southeast, of course, not all of them, they must be selected leaders, Ohanaeze and Chief Mbazurluike Amechi are already in the forefront and we can find true peace in our region.
“They have always been briefing me and so, I’ve joined them. That could be the starting point, and we will be able to know what we want. We want peace. And so, there are things we must give up in order to acquire that peace.
“If we are not being fairly treated, and some people feel we are not being fairly treated, we should be able to, constructively show to the federal government, the areas we think that we are not being fairly treated, not through hate speeches, not through violence. I don’t believe in these things because even in homes, in families, the wife or husband or children, we still have one thing or the other against the family but they should be able to discuss.”
Asked if he shared his thoughts with the President on the IPOB leader and what his response was, he said: “If you listen to me very well, Mr President has never been in disagreement for peace or anything that will bring peace.
“But you must allow him, you know, for what he believes in and for his pedigree and integrity, not to interfere with the judiciary, but it is up to us because the by-product of our discussion and negotiation is such that we can now go to court and seek for out of court settlement and whatever is the agreement becomes the settlement of the court.
“So, I believe strongly that a political solution would be far better than the process which may last for a very long time.”
Speaking on why he was at the State House, he said: “Recall that in September, I came to see Mr President to invite him to Ebonyi State to commission some of our completed projects, and lay foundations stones for some of our ongoing projects, especially the Ebonyi State International Airport.
“But while we were in Paris together, I asked him to defer the visit to the first quarter of 2022, which he graciously approved for me. So today, I came to re-invite him to come and commission our numerous projects in Ebonyi State on March 15, 2022. So we are working on that.
“I also briefed the President on the ongoing international airport of Ebonyi State of which I requested for his assistance. It’s taking due process. And I believe that Mr President, if he finds merit in it will definitely assist us to purchase airport equipment to enable us to commission the airport about the end of May 2022.”
Police confirm killing of EbubeAgu operative in Ebonyi
The Ebonyi State Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Loveth Odah, said the incident occurred on Saturday night in Igweledeoha, Amagu, in Ikwo Local Government Area.
According to her, the DPO of Ikwo Police Division said that he received a phone call from a source at Igweledeoha that one ESN operative had been murdered, that he was partially burnt by unknown persons in his beer parlour on Agubia Road.
“The DPO said that he quickly mobilised a team of police operatives to the area but the culprits had deserted the place when they got there.
“He said the corpse has been taken to the General Hospital for preservation and autopsy,” the police spokesperson said.
According to the Police Spokesperson, two suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime.
She said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Aliyu, expressed dismay over the killing and promised to bring the perpetrators to book.
Tension in Okigwe, Ehime in Imo
Some of those who spoke to Vanguard from Okigwe town said it is almost becoming a daily occurrence.
A bus driver, Ejike said that God will continue to protect people driving through Owerri- Okigwe road as many evil things are happening especially at night.
“Small boys with guns will just stop you and collect your money.”
Also, a former local government Chairman from Imo North Senatorial district, who does not want his name mentioned for security reasons told Vanguard: “Before it gets late on the security situations in Okigwe and the entire Imo North Senatorial district, I will advise the Imo State Commissioner of Police to move his men to Okigwe.
“I beg the security agencies to come now and secure Okigwe zone before what happened in Orlu local government will start happening here. These bad boys are moving into our villages and towns. They are now committing armed robbery activities.
“Every day, you hear bad stories about stealing from the market, snatching of vehicles or killings and sometimes, these hoodlums will come out and shoot indiscriminately to scare people and cause panic. I beg something should be done now.”
An intelligence officer who spoke to Vanguard said it has been observed that the hoodlums who were displaced and dislodged by security agencies have relocated to Okigwe to form a camp.
According to him, “We know that the reason Orlu was somehow quiet was that these hoodlums have moved to other areas especially Okigwe local government area.”
Vanguard News Nigeria