Wednesday, November 04, 2020

#EndSARS protest aftermath: Residents debunk Wike’s claim, lament hounding of Igbo youths - ITREALMS

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Some residents of Port Harcourt and Obigbo have debunked Governor Nyeson Wike’s claims that recent lootings and killings of security personnel were perpetrated by members of the Igbo community let alone members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), reports 

Gov. Wike had on the aftermath of #EndSARS protest in some parts of the state prescribed IPOB on the allegation of masterminding destruction of lives and properties in Obigbo, mostly populated by Igbo speaking community. 

But some Port Harcourt and Obigbo residents who spoke on this on condition of anonymity said the governor’s claims were largely unfounded, while blaming Police, Army and state government for partisanship.

They also alleged that hounding the IPOB members is declaration of war on Ndigbo, which has left over 90 per cent Obigbo residents as victims of military invasion. 

“The soldiers have carefully killed many people in revenge and 99 per cent of the main and collateral victims are Igbos,” a source claimed. 

According to one of the residents, “I live in Port Harcourt, I have a property in Obigbo and I have friends, workers and relatives residing in Obigbo. I get in contact with them everyday to get updates of happenings there. 

“The Wike narratives that IPOB are causing trouble in Obigbo always, is just a smoke screen employed by him to vent his pathological hatred on the Igbos. 

“First of all, let me state categorically that I’m not a member, a supporter or a fan of IPOB because of personal reasons not relevant here. 

“It’s obvious that the majority of IPOB members in Obigbo are from Etche and Eleme, both are in Rivers state,” our source said. 

Main fracas according to the residents that triggered the mayhem in Obigbo during the peaceful #EndSars protest was caused by the Fulani/ Northern Muslim community who confronted the protesters on a Friday after their routine prayers. 

“They chased the protesters with weapons, in a bid to protect their main mosque at Elelenwo axis but were overpowered by the protesters who actually didn’t attack their mosque as expected but inflicted several and severe wounds on the Fulani youths. 

“Later that night, the Fulanis brought in their deadly herdsmen around Iriebe where the Fulanis have a market (yam zone) but the youths of Obigbo and the IPOB came together to resist the herdsmen and drove them away, of course there were casualties on both sides. This culminated into the burning of properties belonging to both sides and spilled over to the burning of the police station at Obigbo when it was seen that the police was on the side of the herdsmen. 

“Later that day, the Fulani called in the army from Bori camp because the tide was turned against them. It was at this point that Wike took over when some 6 soldiers were disarmed and killed including 3 policemen. 

“Rather than hold the two sides responsible, Wike’s government hung everything on the IPOB, criminalized them and declared an indirect warfare on the Igbos, in the name of hounding the IPOB members. 

Also alleged by a source, “the soldiers have carefully killed many people in revenge and 99 per cent of the main and collateral victims are Igbos. 

“Right now there’s a house to house hunting of Igbo youths in the name of searching for missing military guns. All these are happening within Wike’s imposed total curfew meant to keep the youths indoors for easier capture.” 

The residents equally noted that Obigbo is an abandoned Local Government Area (LGA) in Rivers State, “because it is 90 per cent populated by Igbos.” 

Further, the residents claimed “There’s no government presence, no roads, no light, and not even a good hospital or school. This is despite of the fact that there are several oil wells (fields) and the popular Afam power station in Obigbo. 

“The scandalous government neglect is deliberate and not unconnected with the obvious fact that Obigbo is Igboland,” a source alleged. 

Residents of Obigbo insisted that the reported nocturnal secret house to house search, arrest and maiming is still on going as many residents are still trapped and could not escape in time. 

They went on to solicit for help, saying their cry should continue to high heavens until this government alleged “backed mayhem stops.”

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