The IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful, warned the police and soldiers to desist killing its members.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) condemned the 'reckless killing' of its members by security agents, saying over 1,000 of them have been killed, publicly and secretly, since the arrest of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The group stated this yesterday, February 10, 2016, while addressing newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra State.
After the group's meeting to review its activities and to determine options that will be followed to check the incessant killing of the members for engaging in peaceful protests, the IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful, warned the police and soldiers to desist killing its members.
“We wonder what these soldiers and policemen who are killing our innocent members because they embarked on peaceful demonstration to demand the unconditional release of our leader and Director of Radio Biafra Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, are doing in the South East when their marksmanship is needed in the North East to check the activities of the Boko haram insurgents who are killing people on daily basis", he said.
He continued: “The case of our leader has exposed the emptiness of APC government in Nigeria and some ex presidents of Nigeria who are supporting the extra judicial killing of harmless IPOB members who have not carried guns or any dangerous weapons for a day.
“If the present government of APC in Nigeria is responsible, law abiding, respectful to Nigerian constitution, and the orders of court of competent jurisdiction, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu has no business still being incarcerated. No IPOB member or anybody should be shot while engaging in peaceful protest but because this is a government of frustrated, confused and power hungry people who never thought that they will ever lead Nigeria for one day, they use intimidation to shoot people as if they are still in the military era.
“We know the activities of a former president of Nigeria who has been visiting and interacting with the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, on how to deal with IPOB members in Abia state.The former President has been romancing with the APC and we are looking forward to seeing him declaring for APC. Let him be bold enough to do that instead of working with Abia state Governor to push out IPOB members for their pay masters in APC. We know their role in the killing of our members and very soon we will ask them questions.
“We must make sure that all the past and present Nigerian presidents who are killing our members extra judicially are tried for genocide. The international community is watching. They should remember what happened to the former President of Liberia and his Ivorian counterpart who were killing people while in office, and now nemesis has caught up with them. They are answering questions on the people they killed and the same thing will happen to these heartless Nigerian leaders who are not anything better than the Boko Haram insurgents because of their approval and order to the security agencies to shoot at sight, IPOB and other Biafra agitators and people who embark on protest to air their grievances".
The Abia State Police Command however confirmed the killings in Aba, the state capital, yesterday, February 10.
The state Police PRO, DSP Udeviotu Onyeke stated that two members of a pro-Biafran group were shot dead in Aba on Tuesday, February 9, alleging that the deceased were disturbing students in their school, but the group claims 22 of its members were confirmed dead after the shooting.
Confirming the groups involved as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Onyeke said "Police was only there to ensure they did not come to cause break-down of law and order on the street", but it all changed when soldiers arrived the scene.
He said: “Some of our men that were on convoy patrol got information that the pro-Biafra groups were harassing students. Then, the Aba Area Commander, Mr Peter Wabara ordered the policemen on ground to go there and make them to leave the place as the schools were in session and if they had wanted to hold their meeting, they should have found another place in order not to disturb anybody.
“So when the police entered the place, they found that the pro-Biafra groups were relatively calm, so the police took positions to ensure that they did not do any harm. Police was only there to ensure they did not come to cause break-down of law and order on the street. But just as the Police was trying to persuade them to leave the place, soldiers drove in and arrested five of their members and began to take them away but the group members blocked the way of the military personnel. That was when they started shooting at them.
“Before the police left the place, they picked two dead unidentified persons from the ground and arrested 20 others while one who was badly injured was taken to the hospital.”
The PRO denied knowledge of more deaths but admitted it was a possibility, stressing that the police only recorded two deaths before leaving the scene.
Reacting to the killings, the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) threatened to drag the security operatives to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Also, the IPOB has said it would be forced to adopt self-defence mode, explaining that after commencing its self-defence, “let no country or world leader attempt to tag us as terrorists because we are not terrorists, rather we are fighting for our survival and from being exterminated from the surface of the earth.”