From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has threatened to move into Benue State with its Eastern Security Network (ESN) if urgent steps are not taken by the State governor, Samuel Ortom to protect Igbos in his state. A statement by the Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Emma Powerful, noted that IPOB is no longer comfortable with the alleged terrorising of Igbos in the state. A part of it read: “It has become very imperative that we the Indigenous People of Biafra, ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to bring to the attention of Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State how Fulani terrorists masquerading as herdsmen are terrorizing Igbo communities in his state. The unprovoked genocidal attacks by these murderous bands have intensified in the last one week.
“The world has to be aware of this atrocity which has persisted obviously because the Governor failed to rise to his responsibility of protecting lives and property of these innocent Igbo communities in his state.” The statement alleged that recently, Fulani herdsmen disguised as soldiers, and abducted many people in some Igbo communities in the state and warned that ESN will have no choice to move into Benue State if the situation continues. Governor Samuel Ortom must take responsibility for securing these communities or IPOB would move in our gallant Eastern Security Network, ESN operatives to do the needful,” it said. “For weeks now the people are being terrorized by hooded Fulani military men on evil mission. These communities are living in fears and some have already run away from their homes. We can never allow Fulani terrorists to decimate any Biafran community.” We will no longer tolerate any unprovoked attack against our people irrespective of where they reside. “Governor Ortom must act now or ESN will rise to the occasion. ESN will launch a serious operation to chase the killer Fulani out of Benue if Gov. Samuel Ortom cannot protect Igbo Biafrans living in Benue. The Benue government must as a matter of urgency ensure that the Chief of Ataloga and others abducted are released and no harm befalls them; otherwise, ESN will unleash its venom on the state against the Fulani.
“Based on our findings, Igbo villages under siege now in Izi, Oju LGAs of Benue State are: Edele, Ogbala Izi, Onyenu, Obokata, Ekpuphu and Idele Izi. Others include: Ndi Nwankwo village, Osidi village, Usebe village, Eka village, Ikari village, Ameka village, Edear village and others.” He noted that the worst hit is Ataloga community where men in military uniform kidnapped three innocent locals. The victims, he said, include Chief of the community, Mazi Boniface; IPOB Coordinator and the youth leader of Ndigwe community. Others include: Chief Simon Nweke from Ndiighe in Ado LGA and Patrick Nweke, Youth President of Ndiighe in Ado LGA.