Igbo Patriotic Forum (IPF), a socio-political organisation, led by Simon Okeke, a former chairman, Police Service Commission, has condemned unbridled and orchestrated invasion of Igbo heartland by unidentified elements from the North.
In a statement by Okeke in Abuja, IPF, while affirming its belief in the unity of the country and the constitutionally guaranteed free movement of people, is alarmed that the migration of thousands of young men from the North into the South and the South East, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only poses a danger to the peace and security of Igboland but also a dangerous threat to national unity.
The group said it was a violation of the guidelines on the freezing of interstate movements by people who were not on essential duties as proclaimed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the national COVID-19 task force at the national level and all the state governors at the sub-national levels.
IPF commended the efforts of the federal and state governments in the diverse actions they have taken to curtail the spread of the virus, including the stoppage of interstate movement of people who are not on essential duties.
“We are alarmed that this protocol is observed in breach with regard to the inexplicable exportation of able bodied young men from the North to Igboland using various means of transportation and in the full glare of well-armed and positioned security and law enforcement agents.
“Most shocking too is that rather than apprehend these youths whose mission in Igboland are unknown, some security agents are alleged to be the ones facilitating their violation of extant laws and executive orders and pronouncements on the interstate movement of people.”
Okeke, who is a co-founder of African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, said: “It is most worrisome that even with all the alarm being raised by concerned public spirited individuals and civil society and community-based organisations, the silence by the COVID-19 national task force, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the entire security paraphernalia of the country on this invasion of the Igbo heartland is not only deafening but frightening.”