Following the arrest of about 67 of its members by the police in Imo state, the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has warned the Nigeria government and its security agencies to stop hunting her members insisting that it remains a peaceful group without traces of violence.
Commissioner of Police in Imo state, Isaac Akinmoyede had announced the arrest of 67 IPB members including one native doctor over what he called ‘unlawful assembly’.
According to him, members of the secessionist group were on their way to see the native doctor to fortify them against bullet penetration when they were arrested in Orji, Owerri North Local Government Area of the state on August 9.
“It is believed that the group is planning an attack on security agencies with the aim of snatching weapons,” he added.
“It is also noteworthy that the group attacked and snatched two rifles from Police during a violent protest in 2018, of which the rifles were later recovered from a kidnap gang in a robbery operation.”
The police boss explained that operatives of the 34 Field Artillery Brigade while on duty at Mmahu Egbema Check point, “intercepted Sixty-Seven (67) members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at about 0930hrs, and called for reinforcement from the Divisional Police Headquarters, Egbema.”
He said that the operatives of the Division swiftly mobilized to the scene and assisted in the evacuation of the suspects to the Divisional Police Headquarters for further action.
“It will be recalled that this organization (IPOB) has been proscribed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as such, any such gathering by the group is viewed as unlawful. They will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.”
But, in a swift reaction, the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful accused the police of giving his members bad name in order to hound them, warning however that IPOB would remain undeterred in the pursuit of its demands for a Republic of Biafra.
“We are warning Nigeria government and her security agencies to allow IPOB because we are peaceful in all our activities since the formation of this noble movement to liberate our people.
“Nigeria security operatives are deriving joy in arresting and slaughtering of IPOB family members since 2015 while their brothers terrorists herdsmen and their Boko Haram counterpart are busy causing mayhem throughout Nigeria without security officers struggle to stop them.
“We are calling Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State to instruct his country security to release our members before it is late. Nigeria government and her army of terrorists have been looking for our trouble and they must get it when we are ready. At the appropriate time they will regret their actions against IPOB members,” he said