Many youths from Amucha and several other communities in Orlu zone of Imo State have reportedly abandoned their homes to unknown destinations following the ongoing heavy crackdown by Nigerian security operatives on suspected members of the pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
One of the residents, who fled one of the violent crackdowns in Amucha community, Njaba Local Government Area in Orlu zone of Imo State, Onwumere Augustine, said he escaped death by a whisker following the heavy shootings that rocked the once peaceful town.
“They (security forces) came to the town unexpectedly. They were just shooting anyhow, and arresting youths from the streets that they are IPOB members and terrorists. I was almost killed, and I had to escape into bush and stayed there for several hours before I ran away from Amucha. Same thing is happening in neighbouring villages”, Onwumere Augustine, who spoke from hiding said.
Another resident of the area-a student of Imo State University, who simply identified himself as Okafor Orji, expressed concern on the number of youths that are being targeted by government security forces as IPOB members, saying the community needs peace.
“It is not every youth in Amucha or other Orlu communities is IPOB member, even those that are IPOB members are agitating for freedom, so arresting or killing all of them is not the best solution to the problem,” Orji said.
Meanwhile, the separatist group, IPOB, has cried out over ongoing crackdown on innocent youths in Southeast by Nigerian security forces. The group particularly called out the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the South-East as being behind the killings and disappearance of its members and other innocent Nigerians residing in several areas in Imo, Anambra, Rivers, Enugu, Abia and Delta states.
The pro-Biafra group, while calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to halt such killings to avoid pushing it to the wall, also sent a Save Our Soul, SOS, message to the United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, US Embassy in Abuja, Canada, African Union, among others, across the globe to prevail on the Nigerian government to stop what it described as dastardly and inhuman act.
According to the group, many non members of IPOB were also arrested by SARS and their whereabouts remains unknown, claiming that they have been killed by SARS operatives.
IPOB stated this in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, which called on the international community to prevail on the Nigerian government to stop the alleged “unabated secret abduction, torture, detention, and killing of our members and non members.”
The group further called on the “international community, the Nigerian Government and the world to beam their search light on SARS in Awkuzu Anambra State, Obigbo in Igweocha, Rivers State, as well as the Anti-kidnapping Squad stationed at Enugu Ukwu in Anambra State and Orlu in Imo”.
The statement read in part: “We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to bring to the notice of the international community, the unabated secret abduction, torture, detention and killing of our members by the wicked Nigeria security agents.
“These callous beings in security uniform are at the helm of this atrocity and inhumanity to man…They have also been responsible for the disappearance of many innocent Biafrans some of whom they have wasted thinking they are IPOB members. Many Biafran youths detained illegally in their different cells have disappeared mysteriously without any trace of their bodies until recently when our intelligence revealed what they did to them. Some were destroyed with acid to conceal evidence.
“IPOB members in Anambra, Enugu, Igweocha Rivers, Delta, Abia, Imo, and other states are missing everyday. It is regrettable that many parents and families looking for their children detained illegally in the SARS cells across Biafraland may not see them again.
“For instance, Mazi Isaac Okwuchukwu from Ogidi, Mazi Solomon Nwankwo from Oraifite and Mazi Tochukwu Onyebuchi from Nkpor and many others, were all taken away by men of Nigeria Police SARS at Awkuzu in Oyi LGA of Anambra State but have not returned till date.”
Source: The Authority