Magnus Eze, Enugu and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised the alarm over alleged clampdown of innocent citizens in South East and South South by security operatives in the name of Operation Python Dance 3.
The group alleged that innocent people who never committed any crime against anybody or state were being slaughtered and their burnt lifeless bodies, once again, thrown into a borrow pit along Aba Umuahia Expressway, near Magazine Fuel Station in Aba, Abia State.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, in a statement alleged that since the announcement and beginning of the latest version of Operation Python Dance 3 by security forces, people have been missing. He said some people no more attend to their legitimate businesses for fear of being kidnapped by the army, police and Department of State Services (DSS), alleging that many kidnapped victims are languishing in secret police cells and army detention facilities in Obinze, near Owerri, in Imo State.
“We, the global family of IPOB and its leadership, wish to alert the civilised world of recent savage statement and covert order to continue the killing of Biafrans in the guise of “clampdown on IPOB” from the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Buratai and other heads of security agencies.
“This order has resulted in the shoot-at sight-operation now going on across Biafraland, especially in Abia and Ebonyi states. It’s on record that IPOB is a peaceful and determined liberation movement. It is equally known that our method is non-violent civil disobedience.
“That we have chosen to sit at home on February 16 does not in any way constitute a breach of the peace, only in the mind of Buratai.
“The ongoing killings of innocent Biafrans, some of whom are kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night or in broad daylight from our streets, is an act of war.
“Those who are silent in the face of this relentless provocation will have themselves to blame when the time comes. This is renewal of the genocidal strategy this same army carried out in 2017, with the active connivance of Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“Our decision to boycott next week’s election is set in stone. No amount of cheap propaganda can alter our resolve to boycott this coming presidential election, unless our simple demands are met,” Powerful said.
Meanwhile, a group of Igbo professionals, Nzuko Umunna, has appealed to military authorities not to unleash mayhem on the South East in the name of ‘crushing’ Biafra agitators ahead of the general elections.
The professionals reacted to the recent directive by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to general officers commanding and field commanders in the South East, to clampdown, immediately, on members of IPOB and other related groups, over unsubstantiated plans to disrupt the forthcoming general elections.
The organisation said IPOB, as a non-violent body, poses no threat to the elections.
In a statement by the Coordinator, Ngozi Odumuko, and General Secretary, Paschal Mbanefo, obtained in Enugu, yesterday, Nzuko Umunna aligned itself with the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the issue, as set out in the statement, on Tuesday, by its President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, urging the military to allow Igbo traditional rulers, community and religious leaders restrain their youths where necessary.
“It is noteworthy that unlike some terrorist organisations like ISIS that have declared war on the state, IPOB has consistently affirmed that it is a lawful and non-violent socio-ethnic pressure group seeking self-determination as guaranteed under international law.