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 IPOB raises alarm over 40 missing members

 IPOB raises alarm over 40 missing members - members, IPOB, alarm

– Threaten further crackdown on outlawed

– Police confirm arrest of just four members

By Praise Necherem

The Indigenous People of Bi­afra (IPOB) has raised alarm the whereabouts of 40 members of the involved in a clash with security operatives in Anambra State week, call­ing for their immediate release.

The pro-Biafra group in a state­ment issued through its Media and Public Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, claimed that a combined team of police and army attacked its members re­turning from the burial of a slain member Thursday at Nnewi, leading to the disappearance of 40 members.

While demanding for the im­mediate release of the arrested members, the IPOB spokesman warned that the group would not tolerate unprovoked molestation of its members by security oper­atives.

According to him, the group’s legal team had gone round police stations in to secure the release of the members but could not locate any of them.

The statement read in part, “IPOB and its leadership world­wide once again wish to draw the attention of the public andthe world at large to the danger­ous attacks and arrest of IPOB members in Anambra State last night (Thursday). They went for the burial of an IPOB member who was among those killed last during the Operation Python Dance II in Umuahia, Abia State.

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“This barbaric attack by a combined team of Fulani-dom­inated Nigerian Army and Ni­geria Police happened at Nne­wi when IPOB family members went for the burial of one of our IPOB family members, Odika Esieme Chukwuma, from Igbo Ukwu in Anambra State.

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“He belonged to the Obosi Zone of IPOB. After the burial, as our people were returning from the village of the deceased around 5.30 pm and on reach­ing St Mary’s Church, where they were supposed to disperse to their various homes, they were accosted by a team of security agents and without any provocation, they began shooting at our people.

“In the ensuing chaos, some people fell down and the buses they were travelling in climbed over some of them. Many were injured, resulting from gun­shots from the army and police. Many more were taken away by the army and police to un­known destinations. Some peo­ple had their cars seized, oth­ers with motorcycles had them taken away from them too.

“We are putting the world on notice that since this unwar­ranted and unprovoked attack and abduction of IPOB members coming back from a burial at Ig­boukwu, our legal team has not located or ascertained the where­abouts of about 40 of our mem­bers, who were among those attacked along the Nnewi Ichi Road in Nnewi North Local Gov­ernment Area of Anambra State.”

Meanwhile, the Police Command has warned people in to stop asso­ciating with IPOB or risk arrest, maintaining that the pro-Biafra group remained proscribed and its activities outlawed.

The command, in a state­ment released by its Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Nkei­ruka Nwode, said it arrested only four members of the group during the fracas last Friday.

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“The command arrested four members of the group while other members of the proscribed group fled to unknown destinations. The arrested persons confessed to being members of IPOB and will be charged to for prose­cution”, Nwode disclosed.

On the activities of the group, the statement read: “The Anam­bra State Police Command con­demns in the strongest term the heinous and the cowardly ac­tivities by this group (IPOB) and still calls on the members of the public to avoid associating them­selves with such group as any­body caught will face a maximum jail term in accordance to the law.

“Therefore, the command wishes to let the public know that IPOB activities is a treason of­fence (i.e.) treasonable felony and assures the law-abiding citizens in the state of adequate security. The command, finally wishes to advise the parents to warn their children and wards to be mindful of their activities and report to the police of their suspected activi­ties, promptly.”

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