The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has insisted the Army cannot stop its members from attending the burial of parents of its founder, Nnamdi Kanu.
The outlawed group dared soldiers to stop its members if they can at the funeral slated for February 14 at Isiama Afaraukwu community in Abia State.
IPOB said its members will not only attend but also pay the last respects to HRH Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and Ugoeze Sally Meme Okwu Kanu, his wife.
Nnamdi Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel Okwu Kanu and President-General of Isiama Afaraukwu community, Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze had told reporters last week the burial of the monarch and his wife doesn’t have anything to do with the agitation of the Sovereign State of Biafra being championed by their first son, Prince Nnamdi Kanu.
But IPOB, in a statement from its Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, maintained no amount of “intimidation and harassment” by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies would stop its members from being in Isiama Afaraukwu.
IPOB accused the Nigerian Army of being responsible for the death of their leader’s parents.
It also alleged the Nigerian Army was terrorising innocent Nigerians, vowing to continue with their arrangements to attend the burial of their leader’s parents.
According to the proscribed organisation:“ We continue to draw the attention of the civilised world to the incessant harassment, humiliation and intimidation of Afaraukwu community in Umuahia-Ibeku by the very lazy and shameless soldiers of the Nigerian Army, whose stock in trade is to terrorise innocent civilians while recruiting hardened terrorists into their ranks as unmitigated lawlessness rage across Nigeria.
“In the history of world military, the brazen and cowardly display of military might in Isiama Afaraukwu by Nigerian Army, as Boko Haram and other Fulani sponsored terror groups wreak havoc on defenceless citizens is confirmation that Buratai and his men are not true soldiers, but mere terrorists with constitutional backing.
“Real soldiers fight wars not terrorising innocent civilians preparing for the burial ceremony. If they do not already know this, let the hierarchy of the Nigerian military know they are the laughing stock of the world.
“An army roundly defeated in the battlefield, its officers pursued, captured and beheaded by a band of ill-equipped combatants, but take pride in showcasing its intimidatory might in peaceful enclaves is the height of an army of cowards devoid of ideas.
“What Buratai and his soldiers are doing in Umuahia is no different from what terrorists are doing in the North East of Nigeria. They invade peaceful communities, killing, pillaging, destroying and kidnapping people at will.
“The same template Boko Haram and other Fulani sponsored murder squads are operating within the North East is exactly what the Nigerian Army is doing in the South East. The Nigerian Army fled the battlefields of the North East and abandoned their constitutional duty to fight armed insurgency, but instead turned their armoured tanks and troops on Afaraukwu community preparing for a burial ceremony.”
“The Nigerian Army is wasting their time and valuable resources in trying to stop something they know they are incapable of stopping. Burial of the dead is a right older than man itself.
“Nigeria government and her soldiers are shameless and downright disgraceful, their refusal to confront armed Fulani insurgency and Boko Haram menace in the North East, but instead chose to focus their attention on a burial ceremony in Afaraukwu is indicative of the misplaced priorities at the heart of this All Progressives Congress, APC regime, which has directly led to the deterioration of security situation across Nigeria.
“It defies both common sense and logic that Nigerian soldiers went AWOL in terror ravaged areas of the north, they refused to battle bandits and terror groups they themselves sponsored, but are busy killing and terrorizing innocent and unarmed individuals in the South East.
“Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, Miyetti Allah Bandits, ISIS in West Africa, Al-Queda in the Maghreb are dutifully waiting for Buratai and his warriors to engage them in battle in the north; that is the real security problem facing Nigeria not the burial of His Royal Majesty Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and his wife Sally.
“How can the government of Nigeria justify the deployment of soldiers to the venue of a funeral while terrorists are busy making the lives of law-abiding citizens a misery.
“We are reminding the APC government in Aso Rock and their cowardly soldiers to return to the North East to fight Boko Haram terrorists and leave IPOB and Afaraukwu community alone. Nigeria soldiers and their supporters must be ashamed of themselves.