The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has frowned at public invitation extended to it by the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, saying it is unacceptable to be invited publicly for internal Igbo security affairs.
This came as the leadership of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, has described those perpetrating violence in the South East, as “anti-Igbo elements”.
This is even as the Ebonyi State Government, Tuesday, directed the closure of all illegal and private motor parks not expressly approved by the Ministry of Capital City Development, in its bid to checkmate the movement of arms and ammunition and general insecurity within the Abakaliki metropolis.
In a related development, Former Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has queried the reasonability of the security agencies hunting for suspected members of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, in the South East while bandits and terrorists are sacking communities in the North and taking over their ancestral land almost unchallenged.
The Biafra agitating group, MASSOB, in its admonition to Ohanaeze, urged the apex Igbo group to be diplomatic in its approaches on issues of Igbo interests.
The group in a short statement signed by its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu said: “It is unacceptable to MASSOB to be invited publicly for an Igbo internal security affair.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo should be sensitive and diplomatic in its approaches concerning issues that matter so much on Igbo interests in Nigeria.
“They should avoid the situation where Abuja political cabals hijack any meaningful venture or steps that will redeem Ndigbo from subjective slavery in Nigeria.
“MASSOB as a stakeholder in Igbo project will always align with relevant and Igbo organizations and individuals in protecting and securing the future of our people.
“The security of the lives and properties of Ndigbo is paramount now. Ohanaeze Ndigbo should not play politics with our future”.
Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, condemned in strong terms, what it alleged as “the attack on its leader and founder of the organization, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, by Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra’s Eastern Security Network, ESN.
The group’s position was made public on Tuesday, through a press statement, signed by it’s Director of Information, Elder Chris Mocha and made available to newsmen in Owerri.
Mocha said: “We must warn the perpetrators of violence in the South East to have a rethink. The perpetrators of the violence are anti-Igbo elements.
“Taking up arms and killing people, as well as burning military and police formations will not lead them anywhere but will rather endanger the lives of our Igbo youths.”
BIM’s Director of Information was also of the opinion that “the latest attack on the originator of the Igbo resistant movement has clearly justified the organization’s earlier position that the proscribed leader of IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu was not genuinely and firmly fighting for the actualization of Biafra. The tendency of Nnamdi Kanu in sending members of Eastern Security Network to attack and kill Chief Uwazuruike in his Owerri residence was to provoke BIM- members to resort to arms struggle. This will ultimately fail as it has already failed.
“BIM is non-violent and will remain so in the pursuit of our legitimate goal. Nobody can coerce us into changing our mantra and peaceful approach and disposition to realizing our goal.”
In a joint press statement signed by Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, Commissioner for Capital City Development and Chief Anthony Oko Ewa, Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Ebonyi State Council, the duo explained that undercover security and precautionary measures were being put in place to avert further security breaches in the state.
According to them: “In view of the rising insecurity in the country, the Ministry of Capital City Development, Ebonyi State, has directed that all loading and offloading of vehicles within the state capital should only take place in approved public and private motor parks.
“This is in a bid to check movement of arms and ammunition, as well as criminal elements in and out of the state, as undercover security and precautionary measures are being put in place to avert further security breaches in the state. To this end, all illegal and private motor parks not expressly approved by the Ministry of Capital City Development are hereby closed.
“Motorists and travelers are therefore advised to adhere strictly to this directive as anyone found contravening the order will be treated as a security threat and will be prosecuted accordingly. Passengers boarding commercial vehicles or alighting from such vehicles at unauthorized places, that is, any place other than the approved public and private parks, will be arrested alongside the drivers.
“Also, parking of vehicles along Afikpo Road, Ogoja Road, Waterworks Road, Nkaliki Road and Enugu – Abakaliki – Ogoja Expressway are hereby banned.
Any vehicle parked along the aforementioned roads, whether serviceable or unserviceable will be confiscated by the Ministry of Capital City Development and the owners prosecuted accordingly.
“It is important to note that parking of heavy duty vehicles along the streets in the capital city is highly prohibited. No truck, lorry, or any form of articulated vehicle is expected to park along the streets for whatever reason. Any such vehicle found along the road or street will be confiscated and the owner or driver prosecuted. Government has designated parks for all forms of commercial and industrial vehicles in the state.
“Tippers and heavy duty vehicles have their park at Ochudo Centenary City, opposite Margaret Umahi International Market, Abakaliki. There is also a mega park beside Akanu Ibiam Flyover (Spera In Deo), Abakaliki.
The ministry in collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) is working out modalities to ensure maximum security in the parks.”
Senator Ohuabunwa who spoke on the heels of media reports and confirmations by some Northern governors that terrorists have now taken over many communities in the region seizing people’s wives, said “Nigeria is cruising on a highway to abyss.”
He said that hunting for suspected personnel of ESN who are resisting the invasion of Eastern communities by bandits and killer herdsmen while bandits on killing spree occupy territories raises some curious questions.
The former Leader of the House of Representatives warned that the current security situation in the country if not properly handled could plunge Nigeria into civil unrest.
Senator Ohuabunwa who strongly condemned attacks against security formations in the zone, however, said that indiscriminate arrests of suspected sponsors of unknown gunmen “without proper investigation could make innocent citizens suffer for what they don’t know”.
He challenged members of the National Assembly to rise to their constitutional responsibility of oversight functions and call the security agencies to order.
Similarly, the Bishop, Diocese of Ogbaru, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Prosper Amah, has lent his voice to the situation, saying that with the recent developments and insecurity ravaging the country, the time is now for restructuring to take place because the British arrangement is no more working for Nigeria.
Bishop Amah said: “Looking at the indices around Nigeria, British amalgamation of I914 is a mixture of oil and water which can never blend and is not working for Nigeria. Only restructuring will save the country, give the country the peace it wants now.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday in the Bishop’s Court Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Bishop Amah, said: “You will discover that some of the countries the British colonized have restructured and wriggled out of that British arrangement. Nigeria should also embrace restructuring because British arrangement is no more working for us. We need to restructure now.
“As long as we continue to ignore restructuring which will require Constitutional amendment, terrible days are ahead of us and Nigeria will continue to beat about the bush and the crisis in the country will persist.
“The time is now for restructuring in Nigeria, even though some of our politicians, I call them regular politicians, may not like it and will kick against it. It is obvious it will not favour those politicians but Nigerians should not look at whether it will favour them or not because they will not be there for ever. We must ignore them because what Nigeria needs now is restructuring to move forward.”
Meantime, the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP in the last election, Mr. Peter Obi has bemoaned the current situation in the country, describing the ravaging nationwide insecurity as a stepping stone to anarchy. Obi said this Tuesday in a press release made available to the press.
Describing the situation in the country as the practical manifestation of cumulative years of leadership failure, Obi said it was actually what he had hoped the country and her leaders would have averted by his continued reference to an abused society rising up in future by way of revenge without realising the future was now.
After critical analysis of the trajectory the country has been moving, especially recently, Obi isolated persistent corruption and total absence of merit as the major problems affecting Nigeria.
“Since independence, corruption has remained the leitmotif of leadership failure in Nigeria. Painfully, at a time Nigeria ought to have moved on with other countries, we are still fixated on power supply, functional healthcare delivery and other basic things that ought not to be bothering us today. We are also saddled with the case of gross imbalance in national appointments as if others are mere spectators in Nigeria. Added to this is lack of future for our children,” he said, while calling on Nigerians to show genuine interest in the election of a leader with the will and the capacity to lead the country.
Obi who said that what happened in the country in few months time was dependent on state craft, advised the president to immediately begin the process of healing among Nigerians by talking to them and by taking courageous actions aimed at reassuring all the regions that they are still part of the country.
In Obi’s words: “Mr. President can do this convincingly by immediately seeking real balance in his appointments and by taking immediate actions against those that have become notorious in killing and maiming fellow Nigerians.”
Obi concluded by calling on different warring factions to lay down their arms and give peace a chance.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. We cannot build by destroying, especially on matters that can still be solved through dialogue. Let Nigerians dialogue among themselves now”, Obi submitted.