Sunday, 28 May 2017

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Biafra Day: What We'll Do to IGP of Police If Any IPOB Member is Killed - Pro-democracy Group Warns

Biafra Day: What We'll Do to IGP of Police If Any IPOB Member is Killed - Pro-democracy Group Warns
A pro-democracy group known as Concerned Nigerians, has warned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, against unleashing anger on pro-Biafra agitators, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as they mark the May 30 Biafra remembrance day.

The group threatened to drag the IGP to the International Criminal Court, ICC, over his directive to Police Commissioners in the South-eastern states to be strict and firm in dealing with pro-Biafra agitators during their events.
The group disclosed this in a statement signed by Deji Adeyanju and John Danfulani, Convener and Secretary respectively.
The group was responding to a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood conveying the IGP’s directive to officers in various police commands in the South-East to deal decisively with members of IPOB who have planned a series of protests in celebration of the Biafra Remembrance Day.
The group argued that the Police have no justification to want to stop the celebration because the Biafra Remembrance Day has huge significance for the Igbo who experienced huge losses during the Nigerian Civil War.
The statement continues, “We do not see any justification whatsoever for the police to prevent the celebration of Biafra Day. In fact, the attempt by the Police to stop the celebration is a provocation in itself.


“This directive contravenes the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, freedom of association and freedom of movement as enshrined and guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution.”
The group further disclosed that late last week it contacted the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, on the violations of IPOB members’ rights, including the killing of over 150 of them by security agents. The ICC Chief Prosecutor, added the group, promised that action will be taken.
The group added, “Since a clear threat has been issued by the Inspector- General of Police vowing to deal decisively with the IPOB members, we wish to draw the attention of the Nigerian Police to the fact that protest is a human right and it must be respected".
It also argued that the issues being raised by the IPOB, Biafran Independence Movement (BIM) and the Movement of the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) were subjects of intellectual debate.

“Nations do not kill their citizens when issues of self-determination or referendums are raised. They engage them in an intellectual debate where reasoning and superior arguments prevail as in the case of leave or stay in the UK and Brexit,” the group stated.
It called on IPOB, BIM and MASSOB members to be law abiding in the exercise of their rights of assembly, movement and protest on Biafra Remembrance Day.
“Their approach should remain non-violent resistance even in the face of harassment and intimidation.

“If any Biafran is killed on May 30th, it will be as a result of the directive given to all police commissioners and formations nationwide and we will drag the Inspector General of Police to the International Criminal Court,” the group concluded.

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