Northern govs meet Buhari over IPOB
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with a representation of the Northern State Governors Forum at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The meeting was attended by the chairman of the forum, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Sokoto State and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano State).
The closed-door meeting was held before President Buhari departed for New York for the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The governors were said to have briefed the President on the security situations in their states in view of the rising tension in the north over the alleged killings of some northerners in parts of the south east.
Shettima in a statement last week on behalf of the governors of the 19 northern states called on residents across the region to maintain the peace.
They had said they were aware of spill over concerns in Jos, Plateau State Capital and of the rapid step taken by Governor Simon Lalong who immediately declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state.
The governors had also assured that their administrations had placed security forces on alert with a view to tackling any unforeseen attempt to cause a breach of security.
The military on Friday declared IPOB a terrorist organization.The Southeast governors also proscribed the activities of IPOB in order to stop the tension in the zone.
After the meeting with the three northern governors yesterday, Buhari left for New York to join other world leaders at the UN General Assembly to participate in the general debate with the theme “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”
Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, had stated Friday that Buhari would deliver the country’s national statement during the debate and join other world leaders at the welcoming reception to be hosted by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and also hold a bilateral meeting with the UN scribe.
President Buhari would also hold a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump of the United States of America, along with other world leaders.
The president was accompanied by the governors of Zamfara, Ebonyi and Ondo States as well as key cabinet ministers.
The presidential spokesman had also stated that President Buhari would transit through London on his way back to Nigeria.
IPOB sponsored by treasury looters, FG
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is being sponsored by certain disgruntled elements to sabotage the Buhari Administration.
He said they are doing this under the guise of fighting for the rights of the people of the South-east.
The minister stated this at a press conference in Lagos, a statement by his office said.
Alhaji Mohammed said IPOB was set up as a tool to destabilize the nation and divert attention from the efforts of the Buhari Administration.
He said the group is being sponsored by “the Coalition of the Politically Disgruntled and the Treasury Looters. “They believe that by sponsoring this group to destabilize the country and trigger chaos, they will realize their ambition of escaping justice and then be freeto dip their hands into the nation’s treasury again.”
Alhaji Mohammed, who wondered why the activities of IPOB became heightened with the advent of this Administration, said: ‘’If this is coincidental, then that coincidence is uncanny, at the least. Remember that Nnamdi Kanu, who led a protest at the Nigeria House in London against Boko Haram insurgency and in support of Nigeria’s unity, under the Jonathan Administration, has suddenly metamorphosed into an IPOB monster who will rather set the nation ablaze.’’
The Minister also said IPOB thrived on exploiting the nation’s fault lines and that its modus operandi ‘’is to trigger conflagration nationwide through attacks and reprisals’’.
Alhaji Mohammed accused IPOB of harvesting gory videos from the distant past and from other lands to deceive the international community that the people of the South-east are victims of state-sponsored ethno-sectarian violence, describing such tactics as ‘’lies and propaganda’’.
He therefore appealed to the media to show greater restraint and avoid sensationalism in their reporting of the military exercise, Operation Python Dance II, in the South-east.
‘‘The divisive and jaundiced opinions of some anarchists have been given a big play by a section of the media. This is wrong. Let me remind all of us of the role of the media, especially the radio, in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that left about 800,000 people dead,’’ he said.
Also Mohammed noted that the Nigerian media cannot afford to engage in irresponsible journalism when the issue at stake is the very survival of the nation.
He also commended the Nigerian military for labelling IPOB a terrorist organization and checkmating the group, and the South-east Governors for proscribing the organization.
Police outlaw Biafra symbols
The police in Abia State have banned citizens from carrying any symbols of Biafra or risk arrest and prosecution under the anti-terrorism Act.
State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi, issued the warning yesterday while parading seven suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
He said with the proscription of the group by the South East governors, it has become illegal for anyone to operate under IPOB or adorn Biafra emblems.
Ogbizi, echoing what the army had earlier said, stressed that IPOB by their action had shown themselves to be a “terrorist group” which must be dealt with as such.
He said that between Sept. 10 and Sept 14 the Ariaria police station was attacked by suspected members of IPOB who destroyed everything at the station.
He said they came with petrol bombs which they used to gain entrance, destroy properties and took three pump action guns.
“Even some policemen were seriously injured. In fact as I am talking to you, one of the injured police officer is dead. Doctors tried in vain to save his life.
Ogbizi said they also destroyed property of lawful citizens too adding that their demonstration was not peaceful.
He also alleged that the group attacked a nearby bank to get money to acquire more weapons.
The police boss said about 30 IPOB members were arrested when they attacked soldiers at Isiala Ngwa and about 29 were arrested in Umuahia.
He said that suspected IPOB members also attacked military officers and the residences of Commissioner of Police and AIG Zone 9 in Umuahia.
Ogbizi said that the army recovered several exhibits including the coat of arms of Biafra from the suspects.
“As I am talking to you now information reaching me said they have started gathering at Nnamdi Kanu’s house”, he said.
Ogbizi called on the people to volunteer information on the whereabouts of the Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.