Ohanaeze demands probe of Biafra Day massacre

Pan Igbo socio-cultur­al organisation, Oha­naeze Ndigbo has de­manded the probe of last Monday’s mass murder of Igbo youths by the military and the police in various parts of the South East and South-South regions.

The group expressed its indignation at what it de­scribed as the outrageous killing of the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Bia­fra (IPOB) and the Move­ment for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Bia­fra (MASSOB), during their celebration of the 49th anni­versary of the declaration of the defunct Republic of Bi­afra on Monday this week.

In a press statement from the office of the

 Secretary-General of the Ohanaeze, which was made available to The AUTHORITY, Ohanaeze said it does not accept the excuse of provocation which is being offered as a pretext for what turned out to be a mass murder of unarmed Igbo citizens, wondering what level of provocation by unarmed people would have warranted the use of live bullets on them.

The Ohanaeze, in the state­ment signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, said that the two organisations- IPOB and MASSOB-are noted for their sworn belief in non-vi­olence, affirming that they were, as usual, totally unarmed at the time of the onslaught on them by armed security agents.

Nwaorgu said: “The Igbo nation is outraged and con­demns these killings in the strongest terms. Such should never happen whether under the military dictatorship or de­mocracy.

“Ndigbo are known dem­ocrats from time immemorial; we believe in competition and we are not a violent people.”

The group implored “all Nigerians, and indeed all peo­ple who like humanity all over the world to rise up in total con­demnation” of what Ohanaeze described as a “heinous display of brutality.”

 The pan-Igbo group, there­fore, charged the Federal and Anambra State governments to set up separate commissions of inquiry into the circumstanc­es that led to such a mass mur­der of unarmed citizens.

Ohaneze commiserated with the families and communi­ties whose members were either killed or wounded in the mas­sacre and declared that Ndig­bo are very unhappy and out­raged over what it described as the continued blood-letting vis­ited on their people.

Members of MASSOB and IPOB were reported to have as­sembled at a primary school in Nkpor Agu, near Onitsha for prayers and procession when they were confronted by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) com­prising the Army, Navy, Police and secret police.

Unofficial report said that over 50 of them were killed while the security agencies had three among them killed.

Hundreds of others sus­tained varying degrees of wounds and were rushed to the hospitals.

Meanwhile, eight persons who were arrested on Mon­day during the demonstration by pro-Biafra groups in Asaba, Delta State will soon be charged to court for murder and other offences, Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Charles Muka has said.

Muka said that investigation was still on and that the suspects would be made to face the full weight of the law if found guilty of the charges against them, in­cluding the murder of “two pa­triotic police officers in the line of duty.”

In the meantime, the state government has declared that no part of Delta is under the proposed Biafra Republic and condemned the actions of the secessionist groups.

In a statement entitled: “Bi­afra Agitation-Our Stand”, the Secretary to the State Govern­ment (SSG), Mr. Festus Ovie Agas, said it was an error for anybody or group to claim that Delta State or more specifically, Anioma people are part of the South East zone that is supposed to make up the proposed Bia­fran Republic.

He said while some com­munities in the state may have cultural affinity with the peo­ple of the South East, the peo­ple of the present Delta State have always occupied a unique position in the Nigerian

 Feder­ation and were never part of the South East as is being suggested in some quarters.

A boost however came for the Biafra agitators as Niger Delta militants on Wednesday gave the Federal Govern­ment tomorrow deadline to release the corpses of 10 pro-Biafra agitators.

The militants threatened to avenge the “unprovoked” kill­ing of Biafra supporters by security operatives on Monday.

In a statement issued on­line, the Niger Delta militants explained that their decision to avenge the attack on the pro-Biafra protesters was reached after a meeting called by the leaders of various militant groups in the region.

“If the Federal Govern­ment fails to release them (the corpses) by Friday, June 3, 2016, they will hear from us from Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo states,” the statement read in part.

The statement was signed by the leader of the Niger Del­ta Peoples Democratic Front, Precious Iyoyo, aka General Playboy and his counterpart in the Concerned Militant Lead­ers, General Ben.



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