SOUTH EAST GOVS, IGP WARN BIAFRA AGITATORS OVER PLANNED ‘SIT AT HOME’ PROTESTS

The agitators for Biafra have been cautioned by the South East Governors Forum and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, against going ahead with its sit-at-home declaration in the South east state and some states of the old eastern region.

The chairman of South East governors, Dave Umahi, in a statement issued in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, urged that calmness and wisdom be applied in the present agitation for a Biafran state from Nigeria because it was still possible that the country can remain as one.

Umahi, who for the first time since the release of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Leader Nnamdi Kanu, will comment on his matter, revealed that South East governors played vital roles by meeting with relevant authorities to ensure he was released.

He said, “The South East governors are fully aware of the saturation of various information with the call by the leaders of movements known as IPOB agitation for secession from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and formation of a sovereign state of Biafra.

“It would be a tragic dereliction of our collective responsibility as leaders, if we fail to take a clear and definitive stand at this potentially explosive movement in history of Ndigbo.”

Umahi went on to say that the governors from the eastern states were aware of the historical and contemporary issues that have served as incitement and stimulation for the apparent crisis in the Nigerian system by the Igbo youths.

He however, appealed to members of IPOB and other groups to desist from actions that might plunge the zone into irredeemable crisis, adding that the forum cannot afford to take action that will do nothing but retard progress of the zone.

Reacting to an earlier statement credited to the IGP that security operatives should deal with Biafra agitators, the governor said security agencies in the zone should liaise with the South East Governors’ Forum and South-South look at amicable ways of resolving.

According to Umahi, 30th May, the proposed date for the sit-at-home, will come and like any other day people should conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.

The IGP in an earlier response to the agitators of Biafra’s declaration for a sit-at-home, had warned them to desist from their planned protest and directive that markets in all eastern states of the federation and others be closed on May 30, 2017.

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In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Police, Jimoh Moshood, the IGP said, “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to publications in the media on the planned protests and order of market closure in the South eastern states on the 30th May, 2017 by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Biafra Independence Movement (BIM) and other like groups.

“The Nigeria Police Force is deeply concerned with the security implications with regards to the renewed hostilities and subversive propagandas aimed at undermining law and order in some states of the Federation by these groups, their associates, sponsors, apologists and sympathisers.

“Consequently, the Commissioners of Police in the affected states and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police, have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to be strict, polite, civil and firm in dealing with the situation and put all the Police Personnel and Police Anti-Riot equipment on red alert to deal decisively in accordance with the law with any eventuality from these groups, that can disrupt commercial activities, vehicular movements and safety of lives and properties in some states of the Federation considered to be flash/vulnerable points which have witnessed the unfortunate disturbance of public peace by these groups in the recent past.”

A similar activity by the agitators a year ago, witnessed alleged shooting of several unarmed youths by Nigeria security operatives.

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