IPOB remains proscribed in South East, Ebonyi government insists

REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

•Ohanaeze youths seek Sowore’s immediate release
The Ebonyi Government yesterday maintained that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) remained proscribed in the South East, warning its members against holding processions in the state.

The warning was subsequent upon a protest in Abakaliki by the outlawed group against the suspended RUGA settlement project for herdsmen and other policies of the Federal Government.

Reacting, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, and the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Chief Kenneth Uhuo, cautioned the public against further participation in the activities of the organisation.

They advised parents and guardians not to allow their wards engage in unauthorised gatherings, as security agencies had been mobilised to deal with anyone found wanting.

The state government noted that constructive engagements with the Federal Government would address the grievances of Igbo nationwide, adding that anybody or group that has any genuine reason to agitate should do so through the South East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other legitimate means.

The officials in a statement stated: “The attention of the public is hereby drawn to a Federal High Court order which proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) since September 2017 and classified it as a terrorist organisation in Nigeria.

“By that order, the IPOB has become an unlawful organisation, and all its activities become criminal within the provisions of the Terrorism
(Prevention) Act of 2011.

“Members of the public are therefore warned that any participation in the activities of the organisation under whatever guise has become an offence punishable under various laws of the country. As a responsible government committed to maintaining law and order, the state government is not going to allow IPOB to endanger the lives and property of citizens, by organising any form of activities in the state.”

However, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide has joined the calls for the immediate release of the convener of #Revolution Now, Omoyele Sowore.

The group flayed personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) for disrupting what it termed a peaceful protest, accusing them of overzealousness.

Fielding questions yesterday from reporters in Awka, the body’s national leader, Ambassador Arthur Uchenna Obiorah, also faulted the Federal Government’s claims that the protesters were poised for a regime change.

He argued that government needed to urgently address the alleged imbalances in sections of the country.

The youth leader expressed concern over the pervasive insecurity in the land, condemning the abduction of the traditional ruler of Obom Autonomous Community in Agbogugu, Awgu Local Council of Enugu State, Igwe Sunday Orji and his wife.

Regretting that that the culprits were yet to be identified and brought to book, Obiorah equally called for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of the killers of Rev. Fr. Paul, who was shot dead along Ihe-Agbudu road in the same council area.

The Ohanaeze youths canvassed restructuring for even development of the component units and sustainable solution to the security challenges nationwide.

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