BreakingNews 29/6/16 - Massacre of Protesting Biafrans: Igbo Mandate Congress Condemns Military Authorities

[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) after full discreet investigations into the events of May 29th and 30th Biafran Heroes Day Celebrations do hereby condemn the murder of innocent persons by officers and men of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Police.

Igbo Mandate Congress though has divergent views over the Biafran agitations from IPOB and MASSOB, do hereby condemn the massive use of force on unarmed civilians commemorating the annual Biafra Day Celebrations at St Francis Catholic Church, Nkpor and Onitsha environs in the early hours of May 30th. In the event, even passer bye and those going about normal businesses were gummed down.

Igbo Mandate Congress inquires and investigations suggest that over seventy persons are either dead or missing since the event occurred. Other persons, numbering over hundred sustained various degrees of injuries while hundreds are still being held at at SARS Awkuzu, State CID Onitsha and Army Barracks. IMC views it improper that even some wounded were abducted from hospitals and abandoned to die.

IMC wishes to state that these events are exactly what aggravated the security situation in the North East, and drew sympathizers for Boko Haram especially when gross human rights abuses followed the fight against terror. . With some families of victims inundating IMC members with inquiries, complaints and request for assistance and some efforts to rehabilitate few traumatized, IMC views with alarm the rate at which this murderous spree is spreading hatred among the people more than whatever IPOB protests had done.

Igbo Mandate Congress believes that there is nothing special in the Biafran Heroes Day Celebration to warrant such a security onslaught. People whose families were murdered by the Nigerian State in the 30 Month old civil war have been commemorating the event with some sort of prayers in churches and village squares especially among communities with heavy death toll over the years. Therefore, any security information that the Biafran Day celebration is a national threat is fake, mischievous and misleading and those who gave it are the real enemies of Nigera.

Igbo Mandate Congress believes that people of South East Nigeria who wish to protest, commemorate or remember their slain young ones in that unnecessary genocidal war are free to do so as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and any encroachment therein is an affront on their liberty.

IMC expects the military authorities to prosecute those who opened fire on harmless persons as a deterrent. They should stop further harassment of people who are seeking for Biafra. Igbo’s are yet to reach a consensus on the Biafra issue and as such indiscriminate arrest, murder and torture of innocent people is only causing those standing on the fence to take strand.

Igbo Mandate Congress warns that if these unnecessary onslaught on harmless protesters is not halted, a group deadly as Boko Haram will soon arise to team up with the Niger Delta Avengers in wrecking havoc on the people.

 IMC has been in the forefront of bringing a level of consensus between relevant authorities and disappointed Biafran people of the South East. IMC had engaged other groups within Biafra and the ruling APC on ensuring peace and dialogue and also deploying contacts to ensure that Igbos gets fair share of budgetary allocations and appointments, with some levels of successes. IMC will not want this fragile peace in the South East to be destabilized by trigger happy persons.

Therefore, IMC, after thorough investigations, have discovered that there was no use of force whatsoever by the protesting groups and at no time were the armed forces personnel endangered, especially at Onitsha, Nkpor, Enugu and Nsukka events. Igbo Mandate Congress condemns the desecration of sacred places of worship by security forces. Invasion of churches at Nsukka and Nkpor is much uncalled for. IMC asks the military authorities to show temperance and apologize for these unwarranted provocations. IMC condoles with families of the bereaved and asks Federal Government to pay adequate compensation to families of slain and injured.

Igbo Mandate Congress hopes that this indiscreet se of arms against civilians will not occur again.

Rev. Obinna Akukwe
Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC)
*Photo Caption - Some of the victims
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