The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has expressed dismay at the unfair treatment of its members in Nigeria over mere peaceful protest.
It wondered why the Nigerian Government and its security agencies, especially the army and police, allowed the Shiite Islamic group who protested peacefully twice in Abuja to do so without humiliation or attack, but murdered IPOB members who were protesting peacefully in Aba, Abia State, for asking for the unconditional release of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on April 3, 2023.
IPOB in a statement issued on Sunday by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said that it is now on record that Ndigbo are not wanted in Nigeria as a result of the hatred shown to them.
The statement partly reads: “We must organize ourselves immediately and leave Nigeria for the other nationalities who are allowed to act freely in Nigeria.
“We are not wanted in Nigeria as it has been demonstrated by the Fulani government of Nigeria. On the 30th of March, the members of the Islamic Shiite Movement of Nigeria, embarked on a peaceful protest around the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria, to compel the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to release the seized international passport of their leader -Sheik Ibrahim Elzakzaky, to enable him to travel out of the country for a medical treatment.
“During this peaceful protest within the FCT, the combined team of the Nigeria Security Agents led by the Nigeria Police Force visited the protesters and peacefully dispersed the crowd with mere teargas, and nothing more. There were no casualties recorded, and no arrests were made.
“On the 6th day of April 2023, the members of the Islamic Shiites Movement of Nigeria again embarked on another peaceful protest within the FCT. And again, no arrests were made, and no casualties were recorded.
“On the 3rd day of April 2023, members of the non-violent Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) staged a peaceful protest in Aba, Abia state to demand for the release of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is still being illegally and unconstitutionally detained in solitary confinement at the facility and dungeon of the Department of State Services (DSS), headquarters in Abuja, ask that the world not blame us when we start to employ self-defense.
“The members of IPOB who were peacefully protesting were brutally attacked by the same combined team of the Nigeria Security Agents led by the Nigeria Police Force. During the bloody attack on the non-violent and unarmed protesters, fifty (50) persons were gruesomely murdered in broad day light, and five dead bodies were confiscated by the Nigerian Security Agents.
“Over one hundred and fifty (150) persons were arrested and taken to an undisclosed location, and until today, they have not been seen.
“You will understand that the members of the Islamic Shiites Movement of Nigeria conducted their peaceful protest in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory and not even in Kaduna state. Yet, they were neither attacked nor gruesomely killed. Please recall that this group is still politically proscribed in Nigeria by the Nigeria government.
“Unfortunately, for a similar peaceful protest, the non-violent members of IPOB were not dispersed with teargas but brutally attacked, killed, corpses confiscated, and harmless protesters arrested and taken to undisclosed locations. Where is fairness in this matter!
“Sadly and unfortunately, this goes to clearly reveal that there are different laws for different groups and nationalities in Nigeria.”
IPOB further called on the Federal Government of Nigeria and other international bodies and communities especially Amnesty International and other reputable human rights organizations across the globe to wade into the recent genocidal massacre in Aba, Abia State and call Nigeria security agents to order.
“You must them direct for the immediate release of the corpses of those killed to their families for proper burial, as well as the immediate release of the 150 peaceful protesters arrested and taken away,” IPOB stated.