Rochman Rudy, one of the three Israeli filmmakers arrested by the Department of Security Service (DSS), says the brutality and degradation they were subjected to by the Nigerian secret police are a reflection of the frightening predicament of Igbos in Nigeria.
Rochman, a Zionist activist was arrested alongside filmmaker Noam Leibman and French-Israeli Journalist E. David Benaym by the DSS over allegations that they were sympathetic to the secessionist cause of proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The trio were arrested at Ogidi village, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State while shooting a documentary, “We Were Never Lost”, which explores Jewish communities in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria.
They spent 20 days in detention without being charged to court by the Nigerian government.
However, in a statement released on his official Instagram page Saturday, Rudy disclosed that their mission was to tell the story of the Igbo Jews before their unlawful arrest.
He averred that they were nabbed by the notorious secret police two days into their production, cutting short what was supposed to be a two week filming.
“We only managed to film for two days out of the two weeks planned in Igboland when armed militants wearing black ski masks forced us at gun point into a van, stripping us of our phones and passports. We didn’t see the light of day or had any form of communication with the outside world till we were released 20 days later,” Mr Rudy wrote.
Rudy stressed the need to restrategise and focus on the Igbos who have been living in the reality of the 20 days ill-treatment they suffered in the hands of Nigeria’s secret police.
“Now that we are back, it’s important to reset and focus on the Igbo Jews who’ve faced what we went through their whole lives and still live with that reality daily,” he added.
The Israeli further disclosed that he and his team have been blocked from subsequent visits to Nigeria.
Since his assumption of office in 2015, the President Muhammadu Buhari government has been dogged by persistent allegation of marginalisation and persecution of Igbos.
In May, Buhari, in a tweet reminiscent of the carnage and devastation suffered by the Igbo during the 30 months long civil War in the late 60s, threatened to deal with Igbo youths over the destruction of government facilities in the region.
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Afolabi Hakim is a journalist, content creator and writer. He is always on the look out for ways to broaden his knowledge spectrum and Impact people's lives positively.