The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has alleged that it women including arrest, grandmothers were being humiliated by security agents during a peaceful march in Owerri, the capital of Imo State.
The group alleged that some of the women arrested by soldiers and police were still in detention. A statement by the media and publicity secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, said that the level of desecration and sacrilege would never happen in the North neither would it be condoned in Yorubaland, but that it happened in the South East because leaders were appointed by “the caliphate” to act as agents.
It said that the continued intimidation of the Igbo women was uncalled for and would only end up scraping the scars of the wound inflicted on the Igbo nation during the Aba women riot of 1929, which left many Igbo women dead.
Powerful said: “We condemn the sacrilegious arrest, illegal detention and barbaric torture of grandmothers arrested and held in military custody by Nigerian soldiers and police under the most appalling conditions.
It is unheard of anywhere in the world that old women, some of them grandmothers, were arrested by army or police, teargassed, locked up and tortured for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly.
“If there were any doubts before that ala Igbo and the rest of Biafraland is a Fulani conquered territory, the abominable treatment of elderly women on a peaceful march, arrested, tortured and interrogated like common criminals has all but dispelled it.
That Imo State government gave the go-ahead to the army and police formations across Imo State to abduct and torture our mothers is a clear confirmation that Rochas Okorocha and his government have no regard for us as a people.
“The intention of the Islamic APC government is to intimidate and humiliate our people, women and the elderly. The abduction of grandmothers, some of them in their late 70s, is the worst kind of abomination.
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It is an invitation to anarchy because, if by the close of business on Monday, August 20, 2018, IPOB will call for a civil uprising against the oppressors and their agents in Ohanaeze Ndigbo and government houses across Biafraland.
“When Fulani herdsmen rape our mothers in the farms, destroy our crops and means of livelihood, you don’t see any army or police rushing to protect them.
No Fulani terror herdsman has ever been arrested by the Nigerian army or police. But the same long-suffering mothers, with nobody to protect them, are the ones being arrested, detained and tortured for exercising a constitutionally guaranteed right.
“As with other conspiratorial atrocities in Biafraland perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, DSS and police, Igbo governors, as the chief security officer of their states, alongside Ohanaeze Ndigbo, must be held responsible. IPOB will not hesitate to alert the world that Okehi police station in Etche, Rivers State, is where the torture of Biafran women is taking place.”
Ohanaeze Youth Council, in a statement from its deputy president-general, Obinna Achuonye, after its national executive council meeting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, at the weekend, cautioned security operatives against highhandedness.
“We condemn vehemently the continuous harassment of women, especially IPOB women, who were expressing their displeasure on the whereabouts of some of their arrested members. We still remember the Aba women riot of 1929 and call for respect for all Igbo women anywhere they may reside to avoid a repeat of a new version of Aba women riot of 1929.
“We want the military to restructure their Operation Python dance, especially by being more friendly than hostile in their operations. While we don’t support illegality, especially from criminals, we want the Nigerian Army to have a human face dealing with the Igbo in South East, especially now there’s no civil disturbance or war in our geopolitical zone,” the statement said.
The group disclosed that it would host its first summit on the national referendum in September, where it would discuss some critical issues concerning the region and the nation at large.