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Igbos cry for help!: Oyigbo military crackdown

  • Allege hoodlums responsible for violence, not IPOB members
  • Seek intervention of Ohaneze, South East govs

By Sunday Awulonu

Igbos resident in Oyigbo (Obigbo) town in Rivers State have cried out for rescue over the military crackdown in the area which is now claiming more lives as people now live in strong fear with their movement restricted.

It would be recalled that in the wake of the EndSARS protests which was characterized by destruction in some parts of the country including Oyigbo, Rivers State  Governor Nyesom Wike has caused the military to the crackdown in the area to return peace once again.

Wike had alleged that the crisis which erupted in the area leading to loss of lives and destruction of valuables were caused by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members who had according to him created security challenges for the other ethnic groups especially Hausas in the area.

Consequently, he quickly proscribed the organization in Rivers State and ordered a house to house manhunt of IPOB members. His action has however attracted some reactions from people who described it as a flogging a dead horse since the federal government had earlier outlawed the group describing it as a terrorist organization.

The victims of the government’s decision who took refuge in their various houses have cried out over their plight because of the menace of hunger which they can no longer cope with. They have run out of food since the one week of the crackdown and are appealing to well-meaning members of the public and Igbo leaders to come to their aid.

According to a resident who calls himself Chima who spoke to our reporter, “what worries me the most is that in the past one week many of us are dying of hunger and the sick among us have their cases aggravated by the incarceration because we have no food to feed on.”

On why they chose to self isolate, he stated that “Wike had ordered the security operatives to fish out all the IPOB members with the local vigilante going from house to house for IPOB members, a situation that has led to the soldiers allegedly killing innocent indigenes and citizens of Oyibo over a week now.”    

The incident in Oyibo has, however, attracted widespread reaction from people in the South East and beyond with many expressing disappointment over the manner the Rivers State governor has handled the security challenge in the area.

Some are inputting the idea that his actions are influenced by his personal ambition of 2023 presidency where it is speculated he may be eyeing the vice president’s slot and so needs to impress the northern overlords who are regarded as power brokers.

Others have also condemned him alleging that he is overreaching himself attacking his fellow Igbo brothers who have remained in the same boat of marginalization. However, many people are of the opinions that those causing the security breach are hoodlums Rivers State politicians armed during elections but could not retrieve the arms thereafter, calling on Igbo groups especially the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the South-East governors to intervene urgently. 

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