IPOB-Army Clash: What Arewa, South East Governors Are Saying
Attention is shifting to south-east Nigeria and military engagements in the region have increased, unearthing a phrase; IPOB-Army clash.
Drums are rolling out to the tune of the ‘Egwu Eke II’ that the military had launched in the region few days ago.
Members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are not happy with their presence, but the military said it had deployed troops to quell any form of violence, agitations and vices that may increase in the region in the ember months.
There have been reports of clashes, videos of inhumane treatment of protesters have gone viral online and deaths have been reported in some quarters.
Crisis is brewing in Abia State that seems to have turned the capital of the south-east region.
The entire thing is happening amidst a dusk to dawn curfew declared by the Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.
Mixed reactions have continued to trial videos and photos that have flooded the internet from the region and the southern Governors have vowed not to sit and watch while IPOB-Army clash reports increase.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a group that some of its youths had issued an ultimatum to Igbos in the northern part of Nigeria to leave, has also reacted to the crisis.
The South-East Governors Forum has set up a 7-man committee to investigate Sunday’s clash involving troops of the Nigerian Army and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
A statement by a spokesman for the committee, Professor Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, said the forum wanted the committee to “investigate all the issues” and report its findings during the forum’s emergency meeting on Friday, September 15.
The forum refuted the claim in some quarters that it had taken a position regarding the presence of the military in the region.
“The alleged issue of condemning the youths or the military has not arisen as the governors will have to get first-hand information on both sides so that they can take definite approach towards solving the problem,” the statement read.
Governors from south-east also want clarification on the 'Operation Egwu Eke II' launched last week.
“We are in touch with the military leadership who have insisted that their presence in South East is to curtail the rising profile of Kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, public execution of innocent citizens of South East especially in worship centres and the boundary conflicts between South East states and their neighbouring states and has nothing to do with the agitation of some South-East youths,” the statement further read.
One thing the governors also wants the youths to do is to remain calm, assuring them that they will not be molested.
The ACF on its part condemned the clash between the IPOB and the Nigerian army in Abia state.
It appealed to members of IPOB and other agitators to pursue their concerns within the confines of the law. ?
They also stressed the need for identified perpetrators of the crisis to be made to face the wrath of the law in order to serve as deterrent to others.
In a statement signed by the group’s spokesman, Mohammed Ibrahim Biu, the group said: “the ACF wishes to praise the military for their professionalism in handling the security challenges and calls on the Federal Government to be firm and resolute in bring such situations under control in favor of peaceful coexistence needed for meaningful socioeconomic development.
“We therefore appeal for calm and urge citizens to appreciate the need to live in peace and harmony".
The group believes that with the dusk to dawn curfew in place, the military and other security agencies would ensure that peace and harmony in the areas affected are not only restored but sustained.
Arewa youths had few months back asked Igbos in the northern part of Nigeria to leave before October 1.
That ultimatum called “Kaduna Declaration” received widespread criticism and the group later withdrew it.