The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has urged the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma to immediately facilitate the return of 500 youths allegedly arrested in the state and taken to Abuja.
This was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the group’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful.
According to the statement, Uzodinma invited security agents about a year ago to arrest about 500 Biafra youths who were taken to Abuja. The group called for the immediate return of their ‘brothers’, saying failure to do so will not bring peace.
IPOB further alleged that some of the arrested youths were already being returned to Imo State for prosecution but had been killed along the way by the security agents.
The group also said Friday makes it exactly a year that Ikonso, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) Commander was killed in his sleep by men of the Nigerian Army.
IPOB said Ikonso was killed for doing nothing wrong but defending Igbo land from attacks by killer herdsmen. The group further warned Governor Uzodinma to ensure that the deceased’s family house, which was burnt down, is rebuilt.
A statement from the group reads, “With deep concerns, we the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great and indefatigable liberator Mazi Nnamdi Okwuchukwu Kanu wish to remind Biafrans, friends of Biafra and lovers of freedom across the world that this is a year our gallant comrade Ikonso was murdered by the wicked Nigerian Government and its compromised security agents.
“They murdered the innocent citizen who they saw as a threat to the evil agenda of the Fulani jihadists masquerading as herdsmen in Biafra land.
“IPOB movement has been looking for the body of this man for one year and we have not seen his lifeless body and all his family houses were burnt down because he was defending Biafra land against occupation by jihadists. Other gallant Biafrans arrested by security agents around this time last year are not yet released.
“This is also one year that Hope Uzodinma and his APC party invited the military to kill innocent citizens in Imo state and they arrested and abducted many people who they ferried to Abuja. We are also yet to see them. They abducted over 500 Biafra youths in Imo State last year, and we want those youths back for prosecution if they think they committed any crime.
“We gathered through intelligence that those youths were actually being brought back from Abuja to Imo State but unfortunately Nigerian security agents who were escorting them executed them along the way of Abaji and Lokoja in Kogi State. We are about to exhaust our patience. Hope Uzodinma should please return those youths before we lose our patience.
“Hope Uzodinma should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to our comrades. He should not expect to conduct his daughter’s traditional wedding in Abuja while the Igbo youths he aided in their abduction were executed by security agents. The spirit of those youths won’t allow him to go on a celebration spree after making many innocent families childless.
“Hope Uzodinma should also not forget that he must rebuild the houses of Ikonso’s family and his uncles which were burnt down by security agents.
“Couple of weeks back Hope Uzodinma told the general public that IPOB is not responsible for the insecurity in Imo state, but lest we forget, he has arrested many IPOB members in Imo State, killed hundreds of them while thousands are missing under his administration.
“The question is: why is Hope Uzodinma not releasing all our members and non-members he abducted and put in detention since last year? Since he declared openly that IPOB is not responsible for the insecurity in Imo state, why is he keeping our members in detention?
“What of those he handed over to Abba Kyari and his IRT team in Abuja? What of those put in Tiger detention facility in Imo state and many other innocent Biafrans suspected to be IPOB Members he transferred to Abuja and Kaduna to detention centres in the Northern part of Nigeria.
“IPOB Intelligence unit has it on record that there are many of IPOB members Hope Uzodinma asked his masters to bring back from Abuja where they were detained with heavy torture to Imo state but Abba Kyari’s team reluctantly agreed to return them, but on the way to Imo state Hope Uzodinma forced them to be executed, saying that he doesn’t want them alive to Imo state. They were all killed along the expressway from Abuja to Lokoja. More than 70 of them were executed between Abuja and Lokoja expressway in Kogi state.”