- The Nigerian army in a bid to stop the increasing protests by the pro-Biafra groups set to relocate troops to Aba
- The army official seeks dialogue with the protesters advising them to shun the violence
The Nigerian army plans to relocate one of its brigades to Aba, Abia state, to stop the increasing protest the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB).
Brigadier General Lawrence Fejokwu, commanding officer of 14 Brigade Ohafia, noted this adding that Aba had become a hot spot because of the activities of the Biafrans campaigning for the actualization of a sovereign state of Biafra, as well as the revival of kidnapping and sundry crimes.
Fejokwu appealed to the activists to halt their protest, overturn their decision to bear arms and channel their grievances to the appropriate authorities.
He said: “I have gone around to familiarize myself with my location and men. My decision is that Aba have continued to be a hot spot especially on the activities of IPOB and MASSOB and the issue of kidnapping. To this effect, I have decided to, after due clearance with my boss, the GOC, to relocate our tactical headquarters from Ohafia to Aba to see how far we can go in arresting the situation.
“In doing so, I urge the IPOB and MASSOB to rescind their decision to bear arms and stop acts of violence and channel their grievances to the appropriate authorities.”
Brigadier rejected reports that soldiers killed protesters in Aba, but accepted some of them were detained and later handed over to the police.
He vowed to dialogue with the leadership of the protesting pro Biafra group to persuade them to shun violence and tow the path of peace.
“I don’t mind to dialogue with the pro Biafra groups if that will bring peace. If they want to pray; at the end of it, they should quietly go back to their houses. But in a situation where prayers lead to procession which will disturb the peace of the state, no security agency will sit and watch that happen. We will continue to appeal to them to tow the path of peace. As at today, there is no pro Biafra protester in our custody,” Fejokwu stated.
The protest in Aba turned bloody last month when protesters clashed with security men.
Unconfirmed reports said about 30 protesters sustained gunshot wounds and seven died.
Pro-Biafra groups, seeking self-determination for the people of South East and their neighbours.