Blame FG for Imo killings —Ohanaeze, IPoB, ADF

ENUGU — Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, have knocked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, over their comments on the alleged killings of eight Nigeriens and security agents in Owerri, Imo State.

Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, after condemning the incident, had tasked the community to unmask the perpetrators.

Buhari equally told community and religious leaders to speak more forcefully against the killings and to stand up and defend the ethos of the nation’s cultural and religious heritage.

Ohanaeze knocks Buhari
But Ohanaeze, in a swift reaction, said that while the killings was condemnable, the President should not talk as if such killings were peculiar to South East.


Ohanaeze, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Dr. Chiedozie Ogbonnia, said that there are more senseless killings and terror attacks in Buhari’s North than in the South East.
The apex Igbo body further argued that Buhari, as the Commander- in-Chief, should take the blame for insecurity in any part of the country.

The statement read in part: “Ohaneaeze Ndigbo, however, frowns at the statement by the Presidency, which is nuanced against the South-East, as a haven for terrorists that attack non-indigenes and law enforcement officials, implying that the insecurity persists because the leaders have not forcefully spoken.

“This is very unfair to the Igbo, especially when the president knows the root cause and the nature of the insecurity in the South East.

“It needs to be added that the solution to the insecurity in the South East lies in the enormous powers of the Presidency.

“The above remarks by the presidency appear to have ignored the prolonged open war with the Boko Haram in the North East; the banditry in the North West, especially in Katsina State; the Fulani herdsmen invasion of several communities in the Middle Belt region; the Church massacre at Owo; the daily kidnappings on our highways; the Kaduna-Abuja train abduction, etc.

“It is very uncharitable, if not mischievous, to poison undiscerning minds by insinuating that non-indigenes and security officials are killed by the terrorists in the South East.
“On the other hand, to appropriate national problems to the South East of Nigeria is an ethnic prejudice taken too far.. Invariably, banditry in the North Central persists because their leaders have not forcefully spoken or rather they are publicly celebrated and turbaned or still, offered the Sheik Gumi option.

“Both history and current events in the country must have shown that unjust policy against the just shall ultimately vindicate the just.”

Ohanaeze which cited several instances of killings by bandits in different parts of the country wondered why the Presidency would single out the Owerri incident as if the locals were responsible for the act.

“Two months ago, a suspected armed herdsman in the early hours of Sunday, June 21, allegedly killed about thirty persons in two communities of Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State in what has been described as unprovoked attacks on civilians.

“On Monday, July 22, 2022, gunmen attacked some officials of the 7 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army Presidential Guards Brigade. The incident, which took place around the Bwari Area Council of Abuja, left three soldiers wounded and eight personnel killed.

“On Friday, August 5, 2022, Advocacy News reports that “Gunmen abducted 14 Indian nationals working with a ceramics company in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State. According to the report, “two Indians, two police officers, and two drivers were killed when the gunmen struck”. It added that “they were on their way home from work (West African Ceramics) when the gunmen attacked their Coaster bus”.

The statement further read: “A Wisconsin-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), one of the world’s most reliable conflict data aggregators, stated that “there were 18 abduction events targeting students across northern Nigeria between January 2018 and April 2021.

“The ACLED data also shows that the bandits killed more than 2,600 civilians in 2021, an increase of over 250% from 2020. This number dwarfs that of civilian deaths credited to Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province in the same year.

“It added that in the “period between December 2020 and August 2021, more than 1,000 students and school staff were abducted. Within six months, as many as 343 people were killed, while 830 others were abducted by bandits between July and September 2021 in Kaduna State alone, according to figures from the state government.

“As of now, all schools in the Federal Capital Territory have been closed down on account of insecurity and no person contemplates a reopening.

“Paradoxically, when the district head of Daura, the hometown of Mr. President, was kidnapped and was freed after two months, Garba Shehu was quoted as saying that the “incident was evidence that Duara was not receiving preferential treatment and that insecurity was a national problem.

“In other words, when insecurity manifests in the North West, it is a national problem; but when the other hand, it occurs in the South East, it is blamed on the inability of the “community and religious leaders to speak more forcefully against the killings and to stand up and defend the ethos of the nation’s cultural and religious heritage”.

Ohanaeze said that Ndigbo is hospitable and not known for attacking their guests, and asked the President as ‘C in C’ to rise to his responsibilities instead of trading blames.
“We can state without any fear of contradiction that the Igbo possess the greatest wanderlust as well as the most hospitable dispositions amongst the various ethnicities in the world.

“The non-indigenes in the South East enjoy untrammeled friendliness, inter-ethnic assimilation, and conducive business environment; what happened to the non-indigenes in the South East is most regrettable as part of the current national calamity.

“One would think that the inevitable consequences of the orchestrated mendacious propaganda, dubiety, subterfuge, sabotage, and serial alienation against the South East of Nigeria are already staring us in the face”. “

Hold Northern leaders responsible for bandits’ attacks —IPoB
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which has denied any involvement in the alleged killing of eight Nigeriens and security agents in Owerri, has flayed the Presidency over its comments on the recent killings.

The pro-Biafra movement said the comment “amounts to intimidation of Ndigbo” .
IPOB, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, wondered why the Presidency would be quick to react anytime Northerners are victims of insecurity in the country.

It challenged the Presidency to show how many times it ordered Northern leaders to fish out the perpetrators of the several senseless killings in the North whose victims are mainly Southerners, Christians and non-Muslims.

IPOB said the Federal Government and the Imo State Government should rather be held responsible for the ongoing genocide in the state which it blamed on criminals recruited by the enemies of Biafra to demonise IPOB and the Eastern Security Network, ESN.

“How many times has the Presidency ordered Northern leaders to produce the bandits killings security agents mostly from the South but serving in the North?”

Blame FG , Imo Gov –ADF
Also, reacting to what the Presidency said, elite Igbo body, Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, said that the Federal Government should be squarely blamed for any form of violence and terrorism in the South East region.

“ADF believes that the Federal Government should be blamed for any form of violence and terrorism in the South-East. The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma is not on ground. He is running the state as an external agent of the federal forces against the people of Imo State.

“Let him come down and embrace the people and stop behaving like an Igbo quisling. If he believes that he was elected by Imo people, then he should sit up to embrace the people and defend their interests.

“But if he continues with his proxy war against Ndigbo, the situation will continue to worsen. Politics of surrogacy cannot survive in Igboland.”, ADF said in a statement signed by its spokesman Abia Onyike.

Police arrest 8 suspects in Imo
Meantime, the Imo State Police Command yesterday paraded the eight suspected persons linked to the bombing and killing of four police officers at Agwa divisional police station in Oguta Local Government Area of the state, last Friday night.

The Command’s State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abattam, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri.


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