The founder of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike, has accused the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of being responsible for the killings in Oyigbo area of Rivers State, south-south Nigeria.
Naija News reports that the MASSOB leader made this comment in an interview monitored on YouTube, in reaction to the alleged massacre of Nigerians in Oyigbo, a place Kanu calls “Obigbo” (dominated by Igbos).
While Kanu is accusing Governor Nyesom Wike of being responsible for the alleged massacre in Oyigbo, Uwazuruike on the other hand, said it was unacceptable and irresponsible to claim that the Rivers State Governor was killing Igbos because the Army started a military operation to fish out hoodlums, who killed its operatives and took their rifles in the council.
Berating those linking Governor Wike to the ongoing military operations in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, Uwazuruike said the development in Oyigbo was a direct consequence of an order issued by Kanu, directing members of the outlawed group to kill soldiers, policemen and burn police stations.
The MASSOB founder said who said the military was known for conducting operations in areas where soldiers were killed and in extreme cases burnt down communities in retaliation like in Odi and Zaki Biam, commended the security commanders for carrying out the ongoing operation in Oyingbo professionally and not allowing the repeat of Odi and Zaki Biam in Oyingbo.
Speaking further, Uwazuruike the military operation in Oyigbo which has been condemned by Kanu, was still within the rules of engagement of the military, insisting it had nothing to do with the Igbos and commended the security commanders for their professional conduct.
He noted that: “Sometimes in 2001 and 2002, the youths of Odi killed some soldiers in Odi and Obasanjo sent the military. They wiped Odi out.
“They killed many people in Odi and burnt Odi down. The then President of IYC, Felix Tuodolor, invited me to Odi.
“I went to Odi as a MASSOB leader and saw the devastation there, I cried bitterly. Many people were killed.
“At the same time, the people of Zaki Biam killed some soldiers, Obasanjo also sent soldiers and Zaki Biam was brought down irrespective of the fact that many generals are from that place. So, calling what is happening in Rivers State an Igbo thing is rubbish.
“Nyesom Wike is not killing any Igbo man. It is not an Igbo thing. Nyesom Wike has no capacity to command the Army to kill anybody in Rivers State.
“It is only the Commander in Chief that can do so like Obasanjo did. It is not within the powers of Wike to stop the army from killing those who killed their own. Wike didn’t order the army in Odi and Zaki Biam.
” So, these people who go about on the internet talking rubbish and claiming that Wike is killing Igbo’s should stop speaking for us.
“The Army are killing those who killed their own. This thing has nothing to do with #EndSARS. The #EndSARS were doing their thing until some people went to tollgate and killed some people.
“Then someone in London (Kanu) started that minute to say kill army, kill police, burn houses. Then his supporters in Oyingbo started killing. He gave them the instruction. It was on tape. Prevention is better than cure.
“All these people who are talking, you should prevent. When someone is talking everybody is worried. This thing you are saying will bring cataclysm. It will bring destruction. Where is he now? Then you are bringing the issue of Wike there.
“Wike is an Igbo man. Forget about all these sentiments. We all knew what happened in Rivers state immediately after the war when Umuokoro was changed to Rumuokoro, Umuola was changed to Rumuola and Obigbo was changed to Oyingbo.
“It was not Wike that changed them. And it is not someone in London ranting on radio that will change them back to their normal forms now.
“You cannot come to Oyingbo now and say it must be named Obigbo. Who are you? You are trying to redefine the history of a people. Even if it should take place it is not you. You are bringing problems unnecessarily”.
On why prominent Igbo leaders are yet to speak on the matter, Uwazuruike said prominent Igbo leaders were quiet because they were not happy with what Kanu was doing using the name of the Igbos especially commanding people to burn and kill.
His words: “You are holding some people, whatever you say they must do. You ask them to kill the army and security officials without knowing the consequences.
“I am even happy that Wike and some security men are conducting themselves professionally. Otherwise, they would have destroyed Oyingbo the way Odi was destroyed.
“So all these people bringing Igbo sentiment are not speaking for us. All the prominent Igbo people are not speaking because nobody is happy with what is happening.
“Can you imagine one Nnamdi Kanu commanding the youths to burn and kill? He even said that the leader of Ohaneze should be executed.
“Some who are not Igbos will be asking us why is that every time Igbo’s are killed. Did we tell you that Igbos are killed in Rivers? Those who are killed in Oyingbo are those who killed soldiers. They know those who killed them and they should go after them.”