The Nnamdi Kanu led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have revealed the reason behind its visit to the United Nations (UN). The group (IPOB) had been invited by United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on 14th of September, the same day IPOB shot down the south-east and south-south part of Nigeria on a ‘sit at home’ order given by the group as a civil disobedience protest to mourn the death of its members killed by the Nigerian Army during a peaceful protest at ABA, Onitsha, and Umuahia last year.
The group in a statement which was made available to Newsmen said that their visit to the United Nations will go a long way towards cementing a diplomatic relationship with the international community.
Among the IPOB delegates who went for the meeting are; Mazi Uche Mefor, the deputy leader of the group. It would be recalled that last year, the Nigerian Army together with other security agency including the Nigerian police force, Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Airforce; invaded the peaceful hometown of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the director of Radio Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Okwu Kalu at Isiama- Afaraukwu, Umuahia in Abia State in a show of force where hundreds of unarmed civilians were killed, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, his Royal Father and other members of his royal family were kidnapped and the Royal palace destroyed by the Nigeria Army on an unprovoked attack.
Meanwhile, the group refused to disclose the details of the meeting but said that the world has been placed on notice that IPOB as a group and movement was determined to carve out a separate existence for the people of south-east and south-south part of the country away from Nigeria.
The media and publicity secretary of the group, Comrade Emma Powerful revealed in the statement that the visit was the first time in the history of Biafra after the war that any group or movement met with the United Nations to discuss Biafra matters face to face. He said the meeting was satisfactorily concluded, and that it shows that IPOB has gone where other group and leaders before IPOB dare to go.
The fearless and outspoken Media and publicity secretary of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) also commended the Directorate of the State of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (DOS-IPOB) which is under the leadership of Mazi Chika Edoziem, who accompanied the deputy director of the group to the all-important meeting at Switzerland.
His statement reads thus;
“The historic encounter with United Nations officials at Geneva has opened up avenues and opportunities for further engagement and relevant UN agencies on the burning issues of Human Rights violations by the Buhari Regime and enforcement of IPOB’s universal right to self-determination”.
However, the Indigenous peoples of Biafra regretted that some family members of Mazi Nnamdi Okwu Kalu who intended to attend that meeting with United Nations officials at Geneva Switzerland could not make it because the Swiss embassy denied them the visa to Switzerland thereby denying them the ample opportunity to represent Biafra at the meeting.
Meanwhile, some members of the group were seen yesterday making a brisk appearance around some streets in Onitsha Anambra state. The protest march was tagged, protest against Operation Python Dance 3.
The Nigerian army had on 16th of August 2018 said it will soon commence what it called ‘Operation Python Dance 3’ which it said is an annual training which must take place in the congested and peaceful Southeastern States of Nigeria, the operation when translated in the Igbo language is called operation ‘Egwu Eke Nke Ato’
According to the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 82 division of the Nigeria Army, Gen. Emmanuel Boman Kabuk, at the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Anambra State Nigeria, the Python Dance is a training exercise for troops of the 82 Division of the Nigeria army and during the training, all criminal activities are put in check. The Nigeria Army also encouraged the law-abiding citizens residing in the South-East and the South-South States of the country to go about their legitimate business without fear of harassment from the Nigeria Army. He said that only criminals constituting nuisance are afraid of the training exercise.
He said that whenever the exercise is mentioned, people have this impression that the Nigerian army has come to kill and maim the innocent citizens of the zones. He said that such impressions are wrong, and only criminals think that way.
However some resident in Aba, Abia State who were interviewed by newsmen revealed that Nigeria Army lied when it said that Military men who were deployed to the peaceful region from Abuja the capital of Nigeria for the Egwu Eke Exercise does not harass innocent and law-abiding citizens, citing instance from the previous training exercise were so many people were killed. A source who pleaded anonymously said that during the last Egwu Eke exercise, some travelers who arrived the region late in the night were captured by the Nigeria Army and were taken to God knows where, most of such people never arrived their destination, somewhere found later as corpse inside some thick forests.
The sit at home order:
On 14th of September this year, IPOB ordered a sit at home protest, prior before the date, Nigeria Army and some Government authorities had urged everyone to ignore the order and go about their business without fear of harassment, but contrary to that, the sit at home order recorded 75% success. In the city of Aba, the popular and ever busy Ariara international market was shot down, no single shop was opened for business, also other major markets in the commercial city were all locked in obedience to the IPOB order; even the busy roads in Aba were scanty as only a few police and military armored tanks were seen parading in the major streets.
Also in Onitsha Anambra State, all the major roads were scanty too. IPOB claimed that the compliance by people is voluntary, it said that the co-operation recorded on the sit at home day is a sign that IPOB is the true voice and representative of southern Nigeria and not Ohaneze Ndigbo or any other group.