From Magnus Eze, Abuja
An Igbo group, Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has concluded plans to drag President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai and other persons involved in Operation Python Dance II, in the South East, to the International Criminal Court (ICC), at The Hague.
ADF alleged the military exercise was ethnic cleansing.
Many members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in Aba and Umuahia, Abia state were allegedly killed in the military exercise in Aba and Umuahia, Abia State.
ADF President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, Sunday, said the group is working assiduously, to present an impeccable petition with facts and figures.
“During our visit to the United States of America, we visited the US Congress, and many other places and we gave them a petition, and alerted them that forces were mobilising to decimate Ndigbo; in fact, that another pogrom was in the making.
“Our people abroad are working hard. The petitions are virtually ready and, in our own case, we want to make sure everything is tidied up.
“We are documenting every case, this is not an emotional burden to ADF; it is a highly, intellectual burden. The documents are getting ready to prosecute these things.
“The petitions have gone out, including to the ICC on the invasion. As the invasion was going on, documentations were being made, including the videos forwarded to them. We are virtually ready to present the case on the issue of ethnic cleansing,” Nwala stated.
The group has instituted a case in the Federal High Court, Enugu, against the military operation, which it said was aimed at humiliating Ndigbo and, if possible, render them politically impotent in Nigeria.
On IPOB’s proscription by the federal government, Nwala said the body would meet this week, to address the issue, even as he described the action as illegal.
“Again, it is a nullity, even if they start arresting everybody because of IPOB; how many will they arrest? IPOB can change its name to IPOD or any other thing. It is a movement of a people and not an association you can register and later, you say you do not want to register.”
… Arewa sues for peace
From: Tony John, Port Harcourt
Arewa Initiative for Peaceful Coexistence in Southern Nigeria (AIPCSN) has sued for peace among Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
The group has also debunked the allegation in some quarters, that the recent clash between soldiers and supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State was targeted at Muslims.
AIPCSN National Coordinator, Alhaji Musa Saidu, who spoke in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said it was not a religious crisis, and added that Muslims and Christians were victims of the mayhem.
Alhaji Saidu described the incident, which occurred in some parts of Abia and Rivers states, last week, as well as reprisal in Jos, Plateau State, as unfortunate.
“Nigerians should learn to live together as brothers and sisters. We need peace and we want peace in all parts of the country. We want to live in peace. Even if you kill the man selling groundnut, or the shoemaker (cobbler) on the street, what is your gain? My plea is, let us live together. We don’t want reprisal from any quarters.
“We (AIPCSN) are countering the statement made by a so-called group in Rivers, that Muslims were killed by IPOB members in Rivers. When you say Muslims, you are giving it a religious coloration. I want Nigerians not to see it as a religious matter. In that clash, Muslims and Christians were victims.
“Please, we should not bring religion into it, because if we do that, it would have more adverse effects on everybody in the country. Let us appreciate our peaceful coexistence and live in harmony”, the Muslims leader appealed.
The Arewa group further expressed disappointment with the five northern state governors who visited the state recently, and said victims of the clash had expected them (the governors) to commiserate with them, or visit the scene of incident.
The coordinator said it was a pointer that northerners living in the southern part of the country, particularly in Rivers, were not recognised and valued by their people.
“Now, we knew that five of our own governors came to the state…we expected them to come and commiserate with the Hausa community in Rivers state. They did not visit us, they did not visit the scene where the incident happened in Rivers State. Their action was not good.”