Chris Steven, Abuja
The South-East Renewal Group (SRG) has raised an alarm over what it described as security threat posed by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) to member of the public in the south east region
In separate letters to President Muhammadu Buhari and the United Nations (UN), the group drew the attention of the Nigerian leader as well as the world body to various atrocities being carried out by IPOB members in the region.
It expressed concern that if not quickly put in check, the activities of IPOB will cause socio-political dislocation and spark insecurity crisis of regional and national dimension.
The letter signed by Comrade Charles Mbani, National-Co-ordinator of the SERG, particularly pointed at the recent formation of the Biafra Secret Service (BSS) by IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu.
“By its conception, design and intendment, BSS is the militant arm of IPOB, infested with all manner of hardened criminals and deviants. The national security agencies must have intimated you with the other forms of aberrations of IPOB in this direction,” it stated.
The letter was copied to the national security council, All Heads of Security Agencies in Nigeria, The Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the South East Governors Forum.
Others are all South East State Governors, National & International Human Rights Organizations, All Civil Liberties organizations’ (CLOs), All Civil Societies organizations’ (CSOs), High Commissions & Foreign Missions in Nigeria, All First Class Traditional Rulers in Nigeria, as well as all Religious organizations.
The SERG said it feared that failure to checkmate this illegality, the trend may be replicated in other parts of the country, as the next general elections in 2019 approaches.
It therefore pleaded with President Buhari, “never to abandon the Southeast region to these criminal elements who have activated their media infrastructure to blackmail the Nigerian military from carrying out its lawful constitutional duties.”
The group said although, the cost of security operations of this nature is enormous, it however called for the extension of the exercise of “Operation Python Dance II” by a month more, to enable the military embark on thorough cleansing of the land of criminal gangs.
Read full text of letter below:
September 12, 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCON,
Aso Rock Villa,
Your Excellency Sir,
An Open Letter To Mr. President on The Detestable Security Threats of IPOB To Southeast Region
1. Your Excellency Sir, the Southeast Revival Group (SRG) seizes this unique opportunity to formally welcome you, Mr. President, back to Nigeria from your medical vacation in London. As patriotic citizens of this great country, we owe you a religious and moral duty to continue to beseech Almighty God in prayers to ceaselessly grant you good health and long life to continue to pilot the affairs of our long-suffering nation to prosperity.
2. We have no hesitation electing upon ourselves as representatives of our people at the lower rung of leadership, the worthwhile obligation of loudly proclaiming your sterling leadership qualities. Within two years in the life-span of your administration, you have rapidly pushed Nigeria unto the path of economic recovery and prosperity, tackled Boko Haram terrorism and other burgeoning internal insurgencies. Your undaunted anti-corruption campaigns have begun to instill sanity in public governance.
3. Your Excellency Sir, however, we wish to draw your attention to a nagging insecurity problem currently threatening the coherence of the Southeast region, with the potential to continue to dubiously snatch away the economic fortunes of the region; cause socio-political dislocation and spark insecurity crisis of regional and national dimension.
4. We hasten to confess that the despicable agitations presently mounted by secession groups or separatist movements, domiciled in the Southeast region, in the guise of self-determination has metamorphosed into criminal gangsterism.
5. Everyone is aware that the original concept and intention of a Biafran state has been clearly abandoned and instead, replaced with a self-seeking agenda of personal enrichment and exploitation of the people, necessitating the conscious arming to the teeth, bloodthirsty youths, who have besieged the region with assorted weapons and murdered the peacefulness of our region.
6. The twin agenda of coercion and bloody criminality now pursued by the separatists movements in the Southeast are most times, executed violently. In addition, they propagate views antithetical to any law or acceptable cultural norm, especially, the posture and postulations of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) spearheaded by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
7. Perhaps, the clandestine surveillance of security agencies in the Southeast region may not have sufficiently tracked and intimated you with the whole gamut of the veiled and insidiously satanic operations of IPOB. But undoubtedly, IPOB has marketed it ideology as a clear, present and the likely future vector of the pervasive insecurity in our hitherto peaceful and commercially thriving region.
8. Your Excellency Sir, you are aware of the senseless, criminal, unlawful and treasonable operation of a quasi-sovereignty or a state and a government within the sovereignty of Nigeria by IPOB’s informal declaration of a “Republic of Biafra”. IPOB did not pause at this point, but proceeded to the stage of the gradual formation of the organs of government of the so-called republic, inclusive of the “Biafra Secret Service”, (BSS). By its conception, design and intendment, BSS is the militant arm of IPOB, infested with all manner of hardened criminals and deviants. The national security agencies must have intimated you with the other forms of aberrations of IPOB in this direction.
9. But our investigations into the activities of BSS have sadly revealed the stark reality that the unregistered and illegal “security” organization is an assemblage of hitherto scattered IPOB’s marksmen in isolated criminal gangs, who are now fused to congregate under a single umbrella. The organization has been empowered by IPOB to launch the subsisting, pervasive and consistently dreadful and alarming threats to security in the Southeast region as currently experienced.
10. We are perturbed and indeed, overwhelmed by the persistent violent aggressions and coercive exploits of IPOB, through its arms and militant wing, the BSS. We suspect strongly that since BSS is peopled by outlaws, they are responsible for the spate of assassinations of kinsmen opposed to their fluid and dubious idea of a Biafran state; its members are the masterminds of kidnappings/abductions for ransom; armed robbery; extortion of hapless people at gunpoint and other sundry acts of lawlessness and crimes against the state in Southeastern Nigeria.
11. Your Excellency Sir, we have cause to worry over these developments in our nation. This is because reliable information at our disposal suggests that the proceeds from the unlawful operations of the BSS in crimes around the Southeast region is one of the prime sources of the funding of IPOB to execute its foreign-backed agenda of destabilization of Nigeria, manifest in the palpable awesome insecurity, chaos and anarchy in the region.
12. And in the last few months, it has been observed that IPOB has assumed the monopoly of violence and crimes in the Southeast region. It is also recruiting left-overs of criminal elements in the region into its fold, who are assured about the veiled cover of BSS to hide and audaciously commit heinous crimes against the people, undetected and un-policed, masked with the garments of secessionists struggles in public appeal.
13. The heightened crimes and insecurity in the Southeast presently is heavily nourished by these antecedents of IPOB, which may not abate soon, unless the Federal Government of Nigeria take decisive actions against IPOB and its criminal affiliates to secure lives and property in the region.
14. Even now, the Southeast region is under siege by these criminal elements, as everything which gives legitimacy to life and existence or dignity is fast crumbling or has already crumbled because of fear of attacks, resulting in death, largely due to the activities of IPOB. The vibrancy of businesses or economic and civic life in the region is on its historic lull, as evident in the frequent sit-at-home orders issued by IPOB leader, which compliance is enforced by members of BSS through intimidation, coercion and brute force.
15. And at such instances, resistance by any person most often leads to his untimely death in the hands of IPOB members, much as looting spree goes on unhindered. These have inflicted enough agony and pains on us and it is getting to intolerable limits of endurance.
16. But before we end our submissions, may we briefly expand on BSS, the militant wing of IPOB. The recruitment of jobless agile Nigerian youths into the so-called Secret Service of the Biafran “security” organization attracts some fee or outright extortion of money from interested persons. It explains the zeal and mindless quest to recoup spent funds through the wild criminality. IPOB leader has already publicized his intention to prevent voters from performing their legitimate civic duty by participating in the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra state. It plots to draft the ragtag army of the BSS to frustrate and actualize this threat by hook or by crook.
17. Generally therefore Sir, we perceive these acts and dispositions of IPOB as threats from criminal elements against Nigeria’s democracy and the nation-state. And to further fortify their actions and garner public sympathy, IPOB has set up an elaborate media campaign team to blackmail the Federal Government and its security agencies in discharging its onerous lawful responsibilities to the people of Nigeria by protecting lives and property. We fear that failure to checkmate this illegality, the trend may be replicated in other parts of the country, as the next general elections in 2019 approaches.
18. We therefore plead with Mr. President never to abandon the Southeast region to these criminal elements who have activated their media infrastructure to blackmail the Nigerian military from carrying out its Constitutionally lawful duties as stipulated by the directives of the Presidency. Although, the cost of security operations of this nature is enormous, but we appeal for the extension of the exercise of “Operation Python Dance II” by a month more, to enable the military embark on thorough cleansing of the land of criminal gangs.
19. Please accept our appreciation for your listening ears and kind understanding, Sir.
Comrade Charles Mbani
Southeast Revival Group (SRG)
1. National Security Council
2. All Heads of Security Agencies in Nigeria.
3. The Senate President.
4. Speaker, House of Representatives.
5. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
6. South East Governors Forum.
7. All South East State Governors.
8. National & International Human Rights Organizations.
9. All Civil Liberties organizations’ (CLOs).
10. All Civil Societies organizations’ (CSOs).
11. High Commissions & Foreign Missions in Nigeria.
12. All First Class Traditional Rulers in Nigeria.
13. All Religious organizations.