The Abia State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has warned members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and other pro-Biafra groups planning to embark on any form of protest to rescind from such action.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command (PPRO), Geoffrey Ogbonna in an interview with our reporter on Wednesday also debunked speculations making rounds that they (police) arrested and detained members of the people of MASSOB and BIM (Biafra Independent Movement)
According to Ogbonna, “The information at our disposal was that one of our sister agencies arrested some members of MASSOB and other pro-Biafra group on the day of their protest which I would not want to comment about. But as we speak, I am yet to receive information from any division that they arrested members of MASSOB and that is the much I can tell you.”
The PPRO who said that the police was doing everything within its powers to ensure that residents of Aba and the state go about their businesses without fear of intimidation from any quarters stated that the command would not fold its arms to watch anyone hide under any guise to foment trouble or cause breach of peace in the state.
He said that the warning was part of the police proactive steps in ensuring that Abia remains calm and conducive for business activities to thrive in any part of the state.
“It is naturally expected that nobody should take laws into his/her own hands as to coarse other law abiding citizens into a demonstration under any guise. Specifically, IPOB, MASSOB and other associations thinking along that line are better warned because doing otherwise shall be met with the full weight of the law.”
The Police spokesman also disclosed that the command has similarly imposed ban on the use of siren in the state especially by unauthorized persons in the state.
Ogbonna who lamented indiscriminate use of siren in the state by individuals said that the command has directed any person(s) not permitted by law to use siren in the state to dismantle them and stressed that anyone caught forthwith by police in any part of the state would be arrested and treated according to the law that prohibited indiscriminate and illegal use of siren in the state.
“For purpose of clarity, those entitled to the use of siren in the State are: The executive Governor (of the State), the Assistant Inspector General of Police, The Commissioner of Police,
The Brigade Commander (14 Brigade Ohafia), The Fire Service and Ambulances when on emergency duties.
“Persons outside the personalities/Institutions mentioned above in the state having siren on their vehicles are advised to dismantle it or be made to face the Law.”
However, an official of MASSOB who spoke anonymously dismissed the warning by the police, stating that no amount of threat on them would cow them from the ongoing agitation for the Sovereign State of Biafra.
The source said that MASSOB is a peaceful and non-violent group who have become sacrificial lambs in the hands of the police and other security agencies and stated that it is their fundamental rights to embark on peaceful protest at any time that they like.
“We have remained resolute and peaceful in our agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra. We heard the announcement and we want to assure the police that they are just issuing a warning or threat that doesn’t hold any water. If we decide to hold protest on May 30 or any other day, they won’t stop us. They can go ahead to kill innocent and unarmed citizens of Biafra, but that would not deter us from the agitation of Biafra. That their warning or threat doesn’t make any sense and can’t kill the fire in us to have a state that has been the dream of our heroes past.”