… As militants give soldiers Monday to leave Abia
From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Security has been beefed up in some parts of Rivers State, particularly in Oyigbo, the headquarters of Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, prone to the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Though normalcy had returned in the area after two days mayhem between pro-Biafra agitators and security operatives, which led to the loss of lives and property, several police vehicles were stationed at the popular Oyigbo Express junction.
Commuters and other road users, who passed through the checkpoints mounted by the police in the area, were forced to raise their hands up. A senior police officer, who was among the police personnel deployed to the area, told Sunday Sun that they would remain in Oyigbo till absolute peace returns.
The officer, who did not want his name in print, disclosed that surveillance and intelligence gathering was their priority so as to forestall further breakdown of law and order in the area.
Meanwhile, some Niger Delta militant groups have given the Nigerian Army until Monday, September 18 to pull out from Aba, Umuahia and some other troubled places in Abia and Rivers States or face attacks.
The groups included the Niger Delta People Democratic Front (NDPDF), Concerned Militant Leaders (CML), Rainbow Marabas Group (RMG), Creek Revenge Warriors (CRW) and Niger Delta Sea Lords (NDSL).
They said in Port Harcourt, yesterday, that the terror unleashed on unarmed IPOB supporters was provocative. Leaders of the groups, General Playboy Iyoyo (NDPDF); General Ben (CML); General Billy Atigah (RMG); General Dolph Pepple (CRW); and Major General Isidore Oghemgbe (NDSL) accused Federal Government of abusing the fundamental human rights of Igbo people.
General Ben, who is the convener of the group, faulted the Federal Government for branding unarmed IPOB as a terrorist group, stating that it was a plan to exterminate the southeasterners.
He also condemned the proscription of the activities of the group by the South-east governors, warning that their decision would be counter-productive. However, a Port Harcourt-based security expert, Jackson Ojo, has said that the declaration of the IPOB as a terrorist group by the Defence Headquarters was timely. Ojo, who spoke with Sunday Sun in Port Harcourt, cautioned that Federal Government should not wait until the pro-Biafra agitators start carrying arms before curbing their excesses. (The Sun)