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IPOB insists members will participate in Kanu’s parents’ burial

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AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

• MASSOB condemns police interference in ceremony
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB yesterday said that its members would attend the burial of the parents of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, on February 14, 2020 at Afaraukwu, Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State.

In what looks like setting the stage for a showdown with the police in Abia State, which had earlier warned members of the group to steer clear of the burial if they want it to go smoothly, IPOB members said they would attend the burial.

IPOB in a statement signed by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, yesterday, said: “If the military might of the Almajiri Nigerian North, grand conspiracy of the judiciary and mind-numbing treachery of Igbo governors and Ohanaeze Ndigbo could not stop IPOB, how much less an unknown Fulani boy-boy and servant in police uniform in Umuahia.

“It is important we inform the Fulani masters of this Okon and those parading themselves as military officers in Afaraukwu Umuahia to beware because they cannot stop IPOB from coming to the burial of our leader’s parents on February 14, 2020. All the years of threats and brutal crackdowns on IPOB have all resulted in making IPOB more defiant, determined and ruthless in our pursuit of the noble goal of Biafra liberation.”

The police through its Commissioner in Abia State, Ene Okon, had vowed that they would not sit down and allow IPOB participate in the burial, stressing that it had reached out “to the prime minister of Afaraukwu and told him that if they want the burial to go on smoothly and for police to give them security, they should tell IPOB not to near the area not to talk of participating in the burial.”

But Powerful in the statement condemned the stand of the police, saying such had never happened in history in the country.

“In the sad history of Nigeria, never has there been an edict or warning issued against those mourning the passing of loved ones.”

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has warned the Abia State Commissioner of Police (CP) to desist from creating artificial tension in the state and allow the bereaved family and sympathisers to concentrate on the burial arrangements for the late traditional ruler of Afaraukwu, Eze Israel Kanu and his wife, Ugoeze Sally Kanu.

MASSOB expressed worry that police interference through unguided and insensitive statements on the burial of late traditional ruler of Afaraukwu and his wife is creating distraction and confusion in Afaraukwu community and the South-East in general.

The MASSOB Leader, Uchenna Madu, in a statement yesterday in Awka, while condemning the activities of Abia State Police Command, urged the state Commissioner of Police to order and caution that police steer clear and allow the mourners bury their dead.


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