Following media reports of the violent face-off between security agencies and members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leading to death of unarmed civilians and security agents, I contacted senior security officers and lawyers of IPOB.

In my interaction with the security agencies facts emerged that the State Department lost two officers and automatic rifles during the fracas while two members of IPOB were killed and about five injured. As at the time of our conversation 5 members of IPOB were in Police custody. I requested the Police to grant them bail or charge them to court.

In my discussion with IPOB lawyers it emerged that the members were meeting peacefully and did not constitute any threat to public peace when some security agents infiltrated their meeting leading to the fracas.

I condole with all those who lost their lives and ask the government of Enugu state to institute a commission of Inquiry to ascertain the truth around the incident that led to the death of unarmed civilians and security agents.

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Security agencies must continue to respect fundamental right of peaceful assembly in a democracy and be guided by rules of engagement in dealing with unarmed civilians. Use of force in delicate situations is a by product of the militarization of our society and must be avoided.

It is also important that the identity of those who killed the security agents and took their guns are ascertained to be sure that criminal elements did not cash in on the mayhem. I condemn the use of violence by any group whether security agents or private groups. I will continue to engage with all sides for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. I commend current efforts to de-escalate the tension. IPOB representatives assure me that they remain a non violent organization.

Osita Chidoka
August 2020

1 COMMENT

  1. Truth is truth , the Enugu state police commissioner is a Fulani jihadist in Nigeria police uniform. So the police commissioner has the power to cover the truth. And will paint the Ipob lies that will help him with his intentions.

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