ONITSHA KILLINGS: IPOB ALLEGES MASS BURIAL



The Indigenous People of Biafra, on Friday, said pro-Biafra activists who were allegedly killed by the army during a rally to mark the 50th anniversary of the defunct Biafra in Onitsha, Anambra State, have been given a mass burial.

Over 30 separatists, including IPOB members and those of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, were reportedly killed in encounters with the army in Onitsha.

IPOB equally alleged that some pro-Biafra activists, who were arrested alive during the encounter, have been killed and buried.

Media and Publicity Officer of the pro-Biafra group, Comrade Emma Powerful, disclosed these in a statement, which was made available to our correspondent in Enugu.

“The Indigenous People of Biafra, under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, cries out over the deaths and the mass burial of Biafrans during the remembrance of Biafra heroes and heroines on Monday, 30th May, 2016.

“We discovered that the Nigerian Army and police decided to kill those they arrested alive and bury them with the dead bodies they carried on the same day,” the IPOB spokesman said.

The group further alleged that detained pro-Biafra activists were subjected to torture.

IPOB blamed Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, of complicity in the travails of the Biafra agitators.

MASSOB had earlier demanded the release of the remains of the activists that were killed in Onitsha by the army during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the defunct Biafra.

Meanwhile, about 26 groups from the South-East and South-South, on Friday in Enugu, condemned the ‘Onitsha killings’.

The groups, which met in Enugu, endorsed the Biafra agitators’ call for a referendum to decide the future of Nigeria.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Igbo Women Assembly, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, traditional rulers, Igbo Traders Congress, Ohanaeze Youth Forum, Igbo in Academia, South-East Professionals, Niger Delta Youth Forum, Old Eastern Region Movement, World Igbo Congress, Igbo Survival Movement, South East Youth Congress, amongst others.

The groups, at the meeting, expressed anger over what they described as the silence of the South-East governors over the incident in Onitsha.

They gave the number of pro-Biafra activists killed in Onitsha by the army during the Biafra Day celebration as 81.
Bishop Micheal Ibeneme, of the Lords Salvation Gospel Ministry, who chaired the meeting, faulted the army’s claims that the Biafra agitators were violent.

Ibeneme described the army’s claim as “blackmail”.

He said, “It is fabricated lies, the youths were deliberately murdered by the soldiers simply because someone in Abuja does not want to hear the name Biafra.

“Everybody knows those boys were not armed.

“If a panel of enquiry is not immediately set up to bring to book those murderous soldiers, then the government will be pushing all of us to join IPOB immediately.”

Convener of the meeting, Chief Mrs Mariah Okwor, leader of the Igbo Women Assembly, insisted that “the Onitsha massacre” would not be swept under the carpet.

“This brutal genocide has clearly redefined the Nigeria reality – it is extremely difficult for any sane person to continue to support or even feel safe in any state where cold blooded murder by the state has become an everyday occurrence,” Okwor said.

“Our governors by their silence are only trying to isolate themselves from the people.

“Soon the people will mass up on one side and President Muhammadu Buhari, the soldiers and the governors on another side.
“They will soon find out that they are leaders without followers,” she added.

The groups decided to meet again on June 27, in Umuahia, to further deliberate on the agitation.

Also, the founder of Igbo Youth Movement, and Deputy Secretary of Igbo Leaders of Thought, Evangelist Elliot Uko, has appealed to youths in the South-East and South-South to refrain from violence in their agitation for justice and equity.

Uko, who was addressing student union leaders from tertiary institutions from the South-East, noted that the pro-Biafra activists were not armed.

“We all know IPOB are not armed, and we plead with them not to succumb to pressure and temptation to take up arms,” Uko said.

He added that the attacks on the pro-Biafra activists has made many people to become sympathetic to their agitation.

Punch.

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