•Demands withdrawal of soldiers from South East
From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha and Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, said the launch of “Operation Python Dance” by the Nigerian Army was a plot by the Federal Government and the governors of the South-East zone to wipe out all its members in the zone.
It demanded immediate withdrawal of the army in the South East.
The army had while launching the operation in Awka, Anambra State noted that its area of target were armed robbery, kidnapping, abduction, herdsmen-farmers clashes, communal clashes and secessionist groups in the zone. The army warned that it would not hesitate to apply the rule of engagement to deploy troops on internal security operations and deal with secessionists and others as appropriate.
Sequel to the launch, soldiers had mounted road blocks at strategic points and also patrolled roads and communities in the zone.
The Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, condemned the deployment of army in the zone after they alegedly shot and killed its members during its anniversary and in Aba during a prayer session this year.
“The Federal Government and the defence headquarters have stationed military in every part of the South East to eliminate IPOB members and Biafra agitators in the South South and South East zones.
“However, we are going to hold the South East governors responsible if any thing happens to any person in the region because the Federal Government and the Nigeria defence headquarters cannot afford to bring the military equipment to the South East without the consent of state governors.
“More so, in Abia State they perfected the killing of unarmed IPOB members on February 9, 2016 in Aba and dumped their bodies at the borrow pit in Anambra State, they perfected the killing on August 30, 2015 at Uga junction and May 30, 2016 during the remembrance of Biafra heroes at Nkpor and gave them mass burial, feeling that they will go scot free,” Powerful alleged.
“We are not in a military era and the governors should let them know this and tell the Federal Government to remove all the military men and equipment stationed in the South East, whether they call it operation python dance or what? We must hold them responsible for these atrocities committed in our land.
“We are calling on the international community and other relevant human rights organisations in the world to take note. because our lives are in danger.”
Meanwhile, IPOB has lambasted former chief security officer to late Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha for saying that the Igbo were not united during the Ojukwu memorial ceremony in Owerri last weekend.
The Igbo are united with IPOB for this fight for the restoration of Biafra even the riverine areas of Biafra are united with the quest for the liberation of Biafra and no going back.
“We IPOB also want to let Al Mustapha know that we condemn the statement credited to him that poverty was high in the South East and South South. We are not a poor tribe but we want to inform him that if we have poverty in our land up to 20 per cent, he should know that the whole of North have 80 per cent poverty in their own place, so, he cannot compare South East with the North in any aspect of life.
“The Igbo are very strong and hard working people and they can adapt to any condition you might bring to them and they will get Biafra with the wide knowledge they have without a gun again,” Powerful stated. (The Sun)