By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday expressed dismay at the indiscriminate arrest of people it labelled as innocent indigenes of Ebonyi State by the state Governor, Dave Umahi purporting that they are its members living in the state.
The group maintained that the people arrested in Ebonyi are not IPOB family members saying that the movement is not in the habit of celebrating any anniversary either in Biafraland or in the diaspora, since its inception.
A statement made available to journalists in Awka by IPOB media and publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful said that the news came to them as a surprise.
The statement partly read, “We were surprised to learn from the media about the purported arrest of IPOB family members when we had no event in Ebonyi State that would necessitate the gathering of people on a large scale.
“This attempt by Dave Umahi to prove to his Fulani masters that he is anti-Biafra and IPOB has led him to round-up and illegally lock up land owners in Ebonyi State under the pretext of fighting Biafra agitators but of which the true intention is to pave the way for Fulani herdsmen to take over community lands for their RUGA settlement in the state.
“Dave Umahi and his Fulani overlords in the Police and Army in Abakiliki have instead engaged in land grabbing arrest of innocent citizens especially indigenes of Amasri in Afikpo LGA of Ebonyi State who were merely strategising on how to protect their land from Fulani terror herdsmen.
“By tagging these villagers IPOB, Dave Umahi sought to deflect attention from this dastardly act of illicit land grabbing for RUGA going on in Ebonyi State. IPOB do not host events in the bushes or forests, rather we honour our heroes with a general strike on designated days of the year.”
While describing the information as a blatant lie sold to the media to mask the horrors of RUGA implimentation by stealth going on in Ebonyi State, the group said the information was also used to deflect attention away from secret ethnic cleansing of villages to pave way for Fulani settlements in Ebonyi State.
The statement further said, “We are very much aware that Fulani herdsmen wield considerable influence and power in the affairs of governance of Enugu and Ebonyi State but we IPOB are determined to oppose them every step of the way.
“Ebonyi and Enugu will never become another conquered Fulani territory not while IPOB is in existence. We shall continue to confront and drive them away wherever we observe them engaged in illegal occupation of our ancestral lands.
“Dave Umahi may seek to please his Fulani masters by sacrificing the lives of Ebonyi indigenes but we must warn him that he is moving down a dangerous path that will inevitably consume him and those around him. He is playing a very dangerous game from which he will ne never emerge unscaved.
Umahi’s sworn duty is to protect ordinary citizens of Ebonyi State and that must be his primary duty, not to use instruments of state coercion like the army and police to protect Fulani Jihadists and conquerors disguised as Fulani cattle herders because of his slavish allegiance to Sokoto caliphate.
“He should see and learn from what became of another Igbo Fulani slave, Rochas Okorocha who despite having confirmed Hausa blood and years of grovelling devotion to his Fulani masters, is today being dragged from pillar to post and humiliated at every given opportunity by the same masters he devoted his life to. A word is enough for the wise.”