Following the recent clash in Umuahia, the Abia State capital between the Nigerian Army and the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, the man spearheading the movement of Biafra secession from Nigeria in his reaction to Tuesday’s incident backsout of talk with South-East Governors, accuses Nigerian SEcurity Forces of plot to assassinate him.
Read his statement below;
“Before now, prominent leaders and groups had insisted that I tow the line of peaceful dialogue and meet with the governors to find a lasting solution to our grievances.”
“I conceded to that request which led to the 30th of August 2017 meeting with the South-East Governors Forum at the Government House in Enugu, in the company of the very eminent Professor. Ben Nwabueze and Evangelist Elliott Ugochukwu-Ukoh.”
“In view of the concerted effort by the oppressive Nigerian state to shatter the peace and tranquility of the South-East and the rest of Biafraland through military intimidation, it has become necessary for me to clarify why, regrettably, I may not be able to attend Friday’s meeting with the South-East governors as earlier agreed, for three main reasons.
“We are currently busy attending to our dead and injured from this latest round of unprovoked military onslaught against innocent civilians in our own land. All the casualties so far were shot by men of the Nigerian Army deployed to my house and those stationed along motor ways leading into Umuahia my hometown.”
“I have been reliably informed also, that a detachment of … soldiers responsible for the murder of innocent unarmed IPOB family members have now been stationed near Enugu to ambush and assassinate me on my way to the meeting with the governors on Friday.”
“On that same Friday the 15th of September 2017, the leadership of IPOB through the instrumentality of the Directorate of State (DOS) headquartered in Germany, will be meeting to vote on the viability or otherwise of continuing our struggle in this non-violent manner. There is urgent need to begin the process of defending ourselves in the face of relentless murderous attacks from the Nigerian state.”
Nigerian Army Statement
The Nigerian Army said that soldiers, who participated in the assault on journalists in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, on Tuesday, will face disciplinary actions for their misconduct.
According to reports, soldiers assaulted at least two journalists doing their legal duties in Umuahia yesterday afternoon. The soldiers had accused the journalists of filming them as they rode by the Nigerian Union of Journalists secretariat.
The troops smashed their cameras, phones and other electronic devices during the incident.
The troops also clashed with supporters of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the man spearheading the movement of Biafra secession from Nigeria, as they attempted to barricade his home.
Tuesday’s incident prompted the State Governor, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to declare a curfew in the state capital.
The State Government noted that “Abia is a component State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and subscribes to the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all other extant laws.”
It however stated further that; “While the Government of Abia State recognizes the right of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, to perform their statutory duty of protection of lives and property of Nigerian citizens, such duties must be carried out within acclaimed Nigerian and international standards of engagement with the civil populace, with due respect to the human rights of citizens and sanctity of human lives.”
Major Oyegoke Badamosi, the spokesman for 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, said that investigation revealed that soldiers actually did assault the journalists.
The Statement titled; “NO FRACAS BETWEEN NUJ ABIA STATE AND SOLDIERS ON PATROL IN UMUAHIA” reads below;
The attention of 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, has been drawn to social media publications alleging that troops on patrol in Umuahia town have invaded the NUJ Press Centre in Umuahia at about 10.00am today.
While it was true there was an issue between some soldiers on routine patrol, the magnitude is not as was reported. What happened was that while the soldiers on patrol near the Abia State NUJ Secretariat, they noticed some people filming them. Unfortunately, they seized and damaged their recording devices; an iPad and 2 mobile phones. Preliminary investigation shows that the items belongs to journalists on their legitimate duties.
Consequently, the Commander 14 Brigade and Deputy Director Army Public Relations 82 Division waded into the matter which has since been resolved amicably.
In addition, the soldiers involved will face disciplinary action.
The public are please requested to eschew rumour mongering and go about their lawful business.
Major Oyegoke Badamosi
Assistant Director Public Relations 14 Brigade
South-East Senate Caucus condemns military operation in the region; urges Federal Government to withdraw soldiers
In a statement of Tuesday, the Chairman of the South-East Senate Caucus has vehemently criticized the Operation Python Dance military operation in the region, saying that it is ill-conceived and anti-rights.
According to the senate caucus, the military operation could jeopardize the ongoing engagement with Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the man spearheading the agitation for Biafra secession from Nigeria.
The Nigerian Army had reported that it would commence the new operation in the South-East region that would combat cultism, kidnapping, banditry, assassination, and to ensure agitations were carried out peacefully.
However, since the launch of the operation in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, on Sunday, they’ve being unrest in the region as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have being accusing the Nigerian Army of assaulting and even killing them. An allegation the army already denied, saying that suspected IPOB militants had attacked them with stones and bottles which prompted them to fire a warning shot.
The senate caucus noted that the deployment of soldiers in the region only provoked the violent confrontation that happened on Sunday as well as Tuesday. It therefore urged the Federal Government to cancel the operation.
“We had hoped that our ongoing engagement with the group would be given a chance but here we are with a hurried military action deep into a highly populated area with high propensity for casualty, which occurrence would rather escalate the already tense situation.
“It is more worrisome that military operation, ‘Python Dance 2,’ restricted to the South-east in a peace time, has no doubt fouled the environment and sent strong signal that the region is under siege, which should not be so in a democracy.
“We, therefore, urge extreme caution and advise the military to de-escalate the situation and choose the best operational modus that will not only guaranty the safety of Nigerians but also enhance national unity.
“Nigeria is not at war, people are only exercising their constitutional and universally guaranteed rights, so far they are carrying on in a manner that has never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition.”
The incident allegedly led to clash between the members of IPOB and Hausa community in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital
Video: IPOB supporters and northerners allegedly clash in Port Harcourt pic.twitter.com/EssAWh4PkT
— The Punch Newspapers (@MobilePunch) September 13, 2017
Exercise Python Dance II Releases Dedicated Public Cell Phone Numbers
— Mr. Fredrick (@fredwave) September 13, 2017
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 12, 2017
Military helicopter allegedly hovers over Nnamdi Kanu’s house
A Legal Practitioner reportedly said that military operation in Abia State is an act of Terrorism
Nigerian Army General speaks on NTA about Operation Python Dance II (Exercise Egwu Eke II)
SR also published this video alleging that some Igbo youths are searching vehicles for Hausa/Fulani
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 13, 2017