There are fears that members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra Republic, IPOB, who allegedly wrecked havoc in Oyigbo, Rivers State may regroup and cause more havoc if soldiers currently occupying the area are asked to leave.
Traditional rulers and elders from the area are of the opinion that the federal government should not be in a hurry to withdraw the soldiers from their land. So, if the defence headquarters listens to their request, the soldiers will have to remain in Oyigbo for a longer period.
The soldiers were deployed there in the wake of the hijacked #EndSARS protest. A curfew was later declared in Oyigbo and the soldiers have been there to keep the peace.
Oyigbo chiefs under the aegis of Ogbakor Oyigbo, apart from asing that the soldiers remain, are also appealing to those who fled the area as a result of the IPOB activities should return home.
The appeal to the military authorities was made when the Publisher of the Ovation International Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, visited Oyigbo, to assess the situation in the area.
A high chief, Eze Ukwu III, Louis Okorie, told Momodu and his delegation that the community chiefs do not approve the withdrawal of soldiers from Oyigbo. He expressed serious concern that if soldiers are withdrawn from Oyigbo, IPOB anarchists would unleash violence in the area.
“The Ogbakor Oyigbo General held a meeting here yesterday and said they will not allow the removal of soldiers from Oyigbo. On 12th of November, 2020 we met with the Local Government Chairman, Gerald Aforji, informing him of our plight. We don’t want Army to be withdrawn for the benefit of Oyigbo people. We need to be careful of the remnants of IPOB terrorists. We thank Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for imposing of curfew which has calmed down the situation in Oyigbo.”
Also, High Chief, Lisbery Onyegorom, narrated that indigenes of Oyigbo were astounded by the wanton destruction unleashed on their community by members of the outlawed, IPOB.
“We were surprised by the level of destruction by the IPOB. We are Rivers State and Niger Delta people. Our people are not members of IPOB . I am not aware of any Oyigbo indigene who is a member. We don’t allow that.[frontpage_news widget=”2912″ name=”Also Read”]
“Now, that the IPOB have killed some soldiers, all of them have ran away. The Army is investigating and fishing them out . Most of the IPOB members arrested have given vital information about the remnants.
“We are in support of the Governor’s ban on IPOB activities across Rivers State and hoisting of IPOB Flag.”
Onyegorom frowned at allegation of extrajudicial killings levelled against Nigerian Army by some persons working for some extraneous forces playing petty politics with the Oyigbo issue.
“We are solidly behind our Governor’s effort to maintain peace in Oyigbo. The Governor did not say, go and kill people. The Army came on a rescue mission. That’s what they came for. It is the deployment of the Army that give us comfort to remain here. For now, we hear of threat to protest again. Army is going nowhere. Let the Army stay until we are sure of peace in Oyigbo.”
” Those who ran away should come back. The Army is not chasing anybody. Army is not killing any person. Let the Army stay, until we are sure peace has returned.”