The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has said the clampdown by the Nigerian Army on members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and the Eastern Security Network will further justify the United Kingdom’s proposal to offer asylum to persons who actively and openly support IPOB and likely to be at risk of arrest or detention and ill-treatment, which is likely to amount to persecution.
The spokesman of the group, Alex Ogbonnia, said this in a statement on Thursday.
It called on the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, to immediately stop the clampdown, intimidation and arrest of the Igbo youths over membership of a terrorist organisation unless there was sufficient evidence of crime or unlawful possession of fire arms.
The statement said: “Military personnel, suspected to be led by the 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri, since Sunday have been arresting male residents and youths, particularly in Oguta and Ohaji communities and clamping them into vans and taken to unknown destinations.
“For the armed forces to arrest the Igbo youths without evidence of arms, means of violence or crime is cowardly, uncivilised and mostly unacceptable to Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It runs contrary to every sense of natural justice and rights of citizenship for the army to invade some Igbo communities in search of youths; most of whom are brilliant university graduates whose society has denied employment and sense of belonging. This is adding salt to festering injury.”