On Monday, July 5, 2021, the Abia State Police Command revealed plans by some individuals and groups of people to stage protest in the state. The Police Command, through its Public Relations Officer, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, advised intending protesters to cease or postpone such activity immediately.
“This has become necessary as hoodlums or miscreants may hijack the protest to unleash mayhem on the lives and property of innocent citizens,” while adding that, “the security operatives in the Abia State had been placed on red alert as the Command will not tolerate any act capable of truncating the peace in the state.”
The claim by the Abia police came after some die-hard members and supporters of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, vowed to stage a protest in the southeastern zone, particularly Abia.
Nnamdi Kanu was recently abducted and brought to Nigeria from Kenya to face alleged treasonable felony charges brought against him by the Nigerian government.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, reported the news, claiming that the IPOB leader was apprehended in a coordinated interception by a team of Nigerian and foreign security agents without giving details of the operation.
In light of this, he was hauled before Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja Federal High Court for the continuation of his trial. After hearing from Kanu and the government, Justice Nyako ruled that he should be remanded in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.
Remember that Nnamdi Kanu fled the country a few years ago after Nigerian soldiers invaded his Afaraukwu country home in 2017 and killed over 28 people.
The Nigerian government has designated Nnamdi Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which advocates for a separate state for ethnic Igbos in southeast Nigeria, as a terrorist organization, and has not been able to defend the decision in court.
In an interview, Nwabueze Omenihu, a devoted member of Kanu’s pro-Biafra group (IPOB), chastised the security agency for infringing on people’s rights guaranteed by the constitution and international law.
Omenihu stated that the security agency can only succeed in unleashing its brutality on them but can never kill the quest for self-determination, insisting that the pro-Biafra group will march to condemn Nnamdi Kanu’s kidnapping.
“Let me tell you, thousands of policemen and soldiers, coupled with their evil antics and propaganda, as well as classification of IPOB as a terror organization cannot jeopardize our struggle for succession.
“The ill-treatment currently being meted to our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian government under the headship of Major General Muhammadu Buhari is unacceptable.
“We are marching for justice and fairness. You are a living witness that IPOB is non-violent, and only that we want to go separate ways due to the long-aged marginalization of our people by the Fulani caliphate at the helm of affairs of this nation since the independence of this zoo called Nigeria.
“Fulanis in Nigeria government at the Aso rock are dishing all manner of wickedness and propaganda against IPOB and our leader”.
Another member of Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB, Edward Nkume, denied the Police’s claim that the group intended to cause havoc under the guise of the planned protest.
He stated that the law of the land grants people the right to express themselves against some unlawful government activities (in form of protest), and he urged security agents, who he claimed had turned into murderous squads, to respect the fundamental rights of the people seeking separation.
Nkume vowed that the continued use of police forces to spread false claims against IPOB and its members would not deter the movement’s demand for justice.
He also stated that IPOB cannot be intimidated into abandoning its separatist path because the Nigerian government has failed to provide a good and conducive living environment for its citizens.
Mazi Nwokeukwu David, an IPOB member based in Umuahia, reacted angrily to the police claim, claiming that it was intended to stymie the pro-Biafra agitators’ collective march to demand fair treatment for its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“There are lots of questions begging for answers pertaining to the present predicament of the IPOB leader, who was unjustly detained by the Buhari-led Fulani government. Was he truly repatriated or kidnapped?
“As far as I’m concerned, false claims by police or other security agencies cannot deter us from seeking our rights. I am not surprised by the claim, it is only in Nigeria you can see the rights of the masses not being respected.
“We demand from the government and her security agencies to toe the path of law as anything short of that will be confronted squarely and in a peaceful manner. We are tired of this zoo called Nigeria,” he said.