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The State of Affairs in South-East Nigeria

The State of Affairs in South-East Nigeria

Ever since Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) got unexpectedly extradited from Kenya to Nigeria in July 2021, a lot of events haven’t ceased to occur in the south-eastern part of the country. 

We have all read news reports about the sit-at-home protest which was meant to demand the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu from unlawful detention by the Buhari-led government, but this action has had a ruinous effect on the economy of the region. We’ve read reports on cases of brutal incidents between the members of the separationist group and security operatives. We have also read reports about how communities have been attacked, with the indigenes maimed and killed. But this is not where it ends, as we have also read multiple times about how government properties have been dismantled, and how police stations have been attacked and burnt down, with the security operatives who were meant to protect the lives of the people murdered.

Though a majority of Igbos in the south-east stand solidly behind the detained IPOB leader and support the enforcement of the sit-at-home order, still, efforts are being made by their governors, the federal government, and some Igbo socio-cultural groups to put an end to it. However, these efforts have not yielded any positive results so far.Some of our Igbo brethren seem to be out of touch with the reality of the sit-at-home activity which is causing a lot of financial difficulty for the people, leading to social and economic decline. This position should be rejected by the inhabitants of the region considering the current economic situation of the country.

Sadly, the sit-at-home order was not agreed upon by consensus but was enforced through coercion. We’ve read terrible stories about occasions when people who defied the sit-at-home were tortured and even killed. Whenever there’s a news report of a police station being attacked by hoodlums or unknown gunmen, social media users in the south-eastern part of the country react with approval. In their posts and comments, they hail the unknown gunmen for their actions against the police.

Another problem is that people are spreading false information about a Fulani Oligarchy and the Department of State Services (DSS) causing violence and chaos in the South East. We’ve seen videos revealing how some operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) were dealing mercilessly with some Igbo elders for not supporting the Biafran Agitation. We also watched a video of these same operatives of the ESN intimidating and killing people at an INEC polling unit in Imo State. One of the armed men in the video said they do not want an election in Biafran Land. But our Igbo brothers still choose to be cognitively biased about this and even described it as propaganda from the Fulani Government

.When the ESN was established in the last quarter of 2020, it aimed to fight against the killer herdsmen in the state, but the war has since metamorphosed. The focus has drifted and is now set on destroying the police, and the Ebube Agu Vigilante group, which they saw as opponents because they were set up by the Igbo political leaders.

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It’s not until agitators kill innocent people that will they be able to prove a point. Justice is not gained by destroying the people you want justice for. This action does not tally with the concept and principles of freedom fighting. What’s abysmal is the fact that some of the Igbos in the South-East still decide to support these miscreants, not owning up to the fact that the ongoing destruction in the state including the sit-at-home does not affect the federal government, but them. The South-East is bleeding profusely.

A lot of Igbos have tried to convince their brothers about the activities of members of the ESN but they have been met with condemnation and threats to their lives. They believe that whoever is trying to change their thoughts has been paid to sabotage the Biafran agitation.

I and other Nigerians who mean well for the region hope that whatever is happening in the southeast does not escalate into a state of lawlessness. We also hope that what happened over a decade ago in North-East Nigeria does not befall the South-East, and we all pray for peace and justice to prevail.

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