By Sunday Agbo, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi state government, has threatened clampdown on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) involved in Biafra agitation in parts of the state, stressing that the organisation was proscribed and not permitted to engage in public protest.
The threat came barely a fortnight after IPOB members staged protest in Abakaliki against the suspended proposed RUGA settlement for herdsmen and other policies of federal government.
In a statement issued by secretary to the state government, Dr Kenneth Ugbala, and the state commissioner for information and state orientation, Chief Kenneth Uhuo, the government advised parents and guardians not to allow their children and wards to engage in any unauthorized gatherings.
The government further warned that security agencies have been mobilised to deal with any individual or group found to be involved in any unlawful gathering in the state.
The government, argued that instead of protest, pro-Biafra agitators should rather explore the option of constructive engagement with the federal government to address all grievances and development challenges facing the south east region. It further urged individuals or group that had genuine reason to agitate to do so through the platforms of the South East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other legitimate means within the country.
The statement reads in parts: “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 organization, 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 lives and property of their citizens, by organizing any form of activity in the state.
“Any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate should do so through the platforms of the South East Governors Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and through other legitimate means within the Nigerian federation.
“The Ebonyi state government reiterates its belief that constructive engagement with the federal government shall gradually address all grievances of the Igbos in Nigeria. Traditional rulers and town union leaders should be vigilant, and not hesitate to report to security agencies every suspicious movements in their domains”.
By Sunday Agbo, Abakaliki