The Nigerian government and international organizations have been urged to investigate an alleged massacre in Aba, Abia State, by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
They were advised to warn security personnel by the separatist group.
At a peaceful rally in Aba in March, five IPOB protesters were slain.
According to reports, the IPOB members, who were dressed in white, voiced their sentiments and urged the federal government to free Nnamdi Kanu, their leader, who is being held by the Directorate of State Services in Abuja, during the protest.
However, in a statement released on Sunday, the group’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, demanded the immediate release of 150 peaceful protesters who had reportedly been detained and taken away, as well as the immediate release of the bodies of those who had been killed so that their families could give them a proper burial.
The group expressed surprise that while IPOB members were peacefully protesting in Aba, Abia State for demanding the unconditional release of their leader, Kanu, the Shiite Islamic group was allowed to do so without suffering humiliation or attack by the Nigerian government and its security agencies.
IPOB said it is on record that Igbo people are not wanted in Nigeria due to the “hatred shown to them”, stressing that they must organise themselves immediately and leave Nigeria for the other nationalities who are allowed to act freely in Nigeria.
The statement reads in part, “We, the global family and movement of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the command and leadership of the great liberator, Mazi Nnamdi Okwuchukwu Kanu are astonished about the unfair treatment of IPOB members in Nigeria.
“We are surprised that the Nigerian government and its security agencies especially their army and police allowed the Shiite Islamic group who protested peacefully twice in Abuja to do so without humiliation or attack, but murdered IPOB members who were protesting peacefully in Aba, Abia State for asking for the unconditional release of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on the 3rd of April 2023.
“It is now on record that Ndigbo are not wanted in Nigeria due to the hatred shown to us. We must organize ourselves immediately and leave Nigeria for the other nationalities who are allowed to act freely in Nigeria.
“We are not wanted in Nigeria as it has been demonstrated by the Fulani government of Nigeria. On the 30th of March, the members of the Islamic Shiite Movement of Nigeria, embarked on a peaceful protest around the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria, to compel the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to release the seized international passport of their leader -Sheik Ibrahim Elzakzaky, to enable him to travel out of the country for medical treatment.
“During this peaceful protest within the FCT, the combined team of the Nigeria Security Agents led by the Nigeria Police Force visited the protesters and peacefully dispersed the crowd with mere teargas, and nothing more. There were no casualties recorded, and no arrests were made.
“Today, the 6th day of April 2023, the members of the Islamic Shiites Movement of Nigeria again embarked on another peaceful protest within the FCT. And again, no arrests were made, and no casualties were recorded.
“On the 3rd day of April 2023, members of the non-violent Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) staged a peaceful protest in Aba, Abia state to demand the release of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who is still being illegally and unconstitutionally detained in solitary confinement at the facility and dungeon of the Department of State Services (DSS), headquarters in Abuja, in violation of the Order of the Court of Appeal that directed that he should be unconditionally released from the DSS custody and should not be sued in any court in Nigeria again.
“We are calling on the American State Department, the UK government, its home office, the GTI group, and other reputable Western world institutions to observe the things that the Nigerian government is doing to Ndigbo in Nigeria. We ask that the world not blame us when we start to employ self-defence.
“The members of IPOB who were peacefully protesting were brutally attacked by the same combined team of the Nigeria Security Agents led by the Nigeria Police Force. During the bloody attack on the non-violent and unarmed protesters, fifty (50) persons were gruesomely murdered in broad daylight, and five dead bodies were confiscated by the Nigerian Security Agents. Over one hundred and fifty (150) persons were arrested and taken to an undisclosed location, and until today, they have not been seen.
“You will understand that the members of the Islamic Shiites Movement of Nigeria conducted their peaceful protest in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory and not even in Kaduna state. Yet, they were neither attacked nor gruesomely killed. Please recall that this group is still politically proscribed in Nigeria by the Nigerian government.
“Unfortunately, for a similar peaceful protest, the non-violent members of IPOB were not dispersed with teargas but brutally attacked, killed, corpses confiscated, and harmless protesters arrested and taken to undisclosed locations. Where is fairness in this matter?
“Sadly and unfortunately, this goes to clearly reveal that there are different laws for different groups and nationalities in Nigeria.
“We are, therefore, calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria and other international bodies and communities especially Amnesty International and other reputable human rights organisations across the globe to wade into the recent genocidal massacre in Aba, Abia State and call Nigeria security agents to order.”
The group called for the “immediate release of the corpses of those killed to their families for proper burial, as well as the immediate release of the 150 peaceful protesters arrested and taken away”.