From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised the alarm over harassment and arrest of 58 members in Bayelsa State.
The group claimed soldiers arrested members “who were in a prayer meeting in Bayelsa last Saturday” and said the arrest was “a ploy by the Nigerian government, through its security agents to stop agitations for Biafra.”
In a statement by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, IPOB alleged that mostly, soldiers in Abia and Bayelsa states are conducting “house-to-house search for members of IPOB and arresting them for no just cause.”
He said after their arrest by soldiers, in Bayelsa, last Saturday, “members were taken to Army Barracks along PDP Road and later, transferred to Otioto at the former base of JTF Sunday morning from where they were transferred to Igbogana Barracks where they were dumped in the afternoon, on Sunday.
“Right now, nobody can ascertain their whereabouts. The 59 IPOB members were in a prayer meeting in Bayelsa and we dont’ know their whereabouts now.
“IPOB is a nonviolent organisation that is recognised by the United Nations and we are bent on restoring the ancient nation of Biafra.
“It is quite ugly that the Nigerian government and her security agencies will be after the non-violent group who uses only perceive resistance and civil disobedience in their quest for the restoration of God’s nation. Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, who disguise as cattle rearers, killing, maiming, destroying farmlands, raping women and girls are being released by the government of the day,” Powerful stated.
He continued: “In line with this, IPOB will not be deterred by the attacks because the hand of God Almighty will not let his own people down and He is the spirit that brought and ordained Nnamdi Kanu and members of IPOB to come for the liberation of the people of Biafra.
“Therefore, we, members of IPOB are calling on the international community, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all rights organisations, countries and all well-meaning world leaders to prevail on the Nigerian government to stop the barbaric attitude of the soldiers and other security agencies.”