4th December 2016
BIAFRA: Group Alleges Military's Plot To Collapse Niger Bridge, Cause Holocaust In Igbo Land
Chief Ralph Uwazuruike’s faction of Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra(MASSOB) and Biafra Independence Movement (BIM), yesterday, alleged that the primary reason behind stationing soldiers and other security agents at the Niger Bridgehead this Yuletide is to frustrate Igbo returning to the southeast for the yuletide and make the bridge collapse as a result of heavy weight caused by gridlock.
However, military authorities have debunked the claim, stating that Operation Python Dance recently launched in the South East was not targeted at the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) or any other pro-Biafra group operating in the region.
Anambra South leader of the MASSOB/BIM, Chief Arinze Igbani, who spoke with newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra State, regarding the heavy military presence at the bridgehead, said that the “calculation of whoever stationed the soldiers and other security agents at the bridgehead ahead of the festive period was to, apart from extorting money from motorists and attendant humiliation, see whether the Niger Bridge could collapse as a result of heavy traffic on it so that Ndigbo could die in large number.s”
He said it was obvious to the federal government that the serving Niger Bridge is a time bomb since the second one is not forthcoming.
“If that is not their plan, tell me why there should be heavy security check at the Bridgehead which will automatically cause heavy traffic on the Niger Bridge and which the government knows that it is now very weak. And even the construction of the second Niger Bridge has become a daydream. Is it not a calculated attempt to cause holocaust in Igbo land since they know that majority of travellers who will use the bridge that time will be Igbo?” the MASSOB leader queried.
Igbani who said he had in the past spent four years in prison with Chief Uwazuruike in the course of the struggle for Biafran independence insisted that no amount of distraction would deter the MASSOB/BIM from actualizing Biafra in a very short time.
He said that the Nigerian government knew that Biafrans had almost gone “and that is why they are trying to cause crisis in Biafra land to be an excuse that there is no peace in our land. No, we have peace.”
“We don’t want those soldiers. We are not fighting any war in Biafra land. There is no need for that heavy security at the bridgehead or anywhere else in Igbo land. Let them be deployed to the Northeast where they are most needed. Bringing the army down here is misplacement of priority. We say no to the Nigerian government.
“We want those who call themselves Igbo leaders to prevail now. We have our lawmakers at the National Assembly, we have the South East Governors Forum and other influential people in Igbo land. It is time to prove your mettle. Those soldiers must leave the bridgehead for good,” Igbani said.
In a related development, MASSOB’s Anambra South zonal director for sanitation, Comrade Emmanuel Dinyere also yesterday said the group would declare three days sanitation exercise in the entire South East preparatory for Christmas celebration in Igbo land.
Chief Dinyere said it had become necessary to show example of how neat Biafra land would be when it finally comes to stay. He said the dates for the sanitation exercise would be announced later.
In a clarification on the reason for ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the Southeast, the army authorities denied accusations by pro-Biafra groups that the military was planning a state of emergency in the geopolitical zone and also checkmate the activities of the Biafra agitators. Speaking at the headquarters of the 14 Brigade of the Nigerian army, Ohafia, Abia State, Chief of Operations and Training, Army Headquarters, Major General David D. Ahmadu said, “We are not zeroing in on IPOB, MASSOB or any other group for that matter; it is for general internal security.”
He also stated, “everybody needs peace in the region and that is what the exercise was meant to provide by checkmating the activities of hoodlums in the area and not necessarily targeting any group.”
Ahmed stressed that by involving its officers and men in internal security of the nation, the military had not in anyway contravened any section of the constitution. He said the army would rather work with other sister organizations and para-military agencies to ensure the success of ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the South East so that the region will be crime free before, during and after the yuletide.
Earlier, the Brigade commander of 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Brigadier General Lawrence Fejokwu had told journalists that the exercise which he said was the first of its kind in the area, would see the military working holistically with other security agencies to ensure that peace reigned in the area during the Christmas period.
- The Oriental Times