The former member of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Chidozie Oliver Mbah, has cried out to the international community, particularly to the United Nations (UN), to save his life and that of other IPOB members from the hands of Nigeria military officials who are determined to punish them for participating in IPOB related activities.
Recall that the activities of IPOB in southeast reached its peak in 2016/2017 when its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was in detention in Kuje prison in Abuja.
His arrest and detention aggravated his followers, forcing them to hold regular rallies across different locations in Nigeria especially in the Southeast part of Nigeria.
He was later released on bail after several months of litigation. His release strengthened the IPOB movement, which became source of security concern for the Nigerian government.
Nigerian government, apparently worried by the development sought legal counsel and approach a court. Luckily, it secured court judgement that proscribed IPOB and declared it a terrorist organization. The development paved the way for the Nigerian army to unleash its military might on IPOB and its members.
Meanwhile, Chidozie was a member of IPOB. He narrated his story and experience to our correspondent. “I was just a hard working trader in Onitsha market, in Anambra state, Nigeria. I was doing very well in my business and was never involved or support any separatist movement.
“But the narrative changed on 30th May, 2015. It was on that fateful day that IPOB members, that were fighting for the restoration of a sovereign state of Biafra in southeast Nigeria approached me in my shop at about 12 noon.
“They had declared that day a sit-at-home to mourn their members killed during Biafra civil war and those killed by Nigerian Military and Police, while struggling for Independence from Nigerian nation.
“They were unhappy that I did not comply with the directive and requested to know why I opened shop on a day that IPOB leaders declared a “sit-at-home” in entire southeast Nigeria.
“I respectfully told them that I was not an IPOB member, and was not interested in the activities of the group. They were apparently unhappy and unsatisfied with my response, and insisted that I close my shop and join the movement. That was how I was forcefully taken away and was conscripted into the IPOB separatist organization.
“Out of fear of being killed, I maintained my loyalty to the organization and was later drafted to be among the IPOB members that were sent to Afaraukwu Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria, in September 2017 to guard the home of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, when the tension and onslaught by the Nigerian government was high.
“Precisely on 11th September, 2017, I was in my duty post as a loyal servant in the country home of the IPOB leader, when Nigerian soldiers invaded the IPOB leader’s home, shooting indiscriminately to the unarmed citizens. I narrowly escaped being killed on that fateful day.
“The shooting left not less than 100 unarmed people dead. In October 2017, Nigerian soldiers apparently determined to eliminate members of the group, embarked on manhunt of hidden IPOB member. They moved from house to house and fish out suspected IPOB members and shot them summarily. That was when I left Nigeria for safety.”
Chidozie however appealed to the United Nations to prevail on Nigerian government to reverse its decision on IPOB and the hatred on its members.
He also solicited UN intervention and protection from being arrested and executed by Nigerian soldiers.