Following the recent speculation that officers of the Nigerian police force had shot dead some protesters agitating for a free and sovereign state of Biafra across the country, Solomon Arase, the inspector general of police, has denied such reports describing it as mere social media speculation.
The Indigenous People of Biafra on a Peaceful Protest over the Arrest of the Director of Radio Biafra along Ikwerre road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He said that the allegation by the two groups was false and a calculated attempt to attract undue attention and sympathy.
Reports had filtered in that some members of the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had been shot dead during their protests.
According to Vanguard, Arase in a statement by the police public relations officer, Olabisi Kolawole, on Thursday, November 12, in Abuja, stressed that despite provocation, police officers had managed the situation with a high sense of responsibility and professionalism.
However, calling on the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the police boss advised that the ongoing protests in parts of the country by members of MASSOB and IPOB should be halted.
Arase asked Ohanaeze to save law-abiding and innocent citizens in the affected states from the hardship being meted to them by MASSOB and IPOB.
Warning the protesters who carry out violence, Arase said: “Such actions are criminalised by law. Anybody arrested will be treated as such under the appropriate legislation.”
The statement said: “The IG, while calling on the leadership of Ohanaeze to wade into these superfluous protests, to save the law-abiding and innocent citizens in the affected states from the hardship being meted by the groups, reminded those embarking on violent protests/assemblies that such actions are criminalised by law, and anybody arrested will be treated as such under the appropriate legislation.”
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There had been protests in some parts of the country especially in states like Delta, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Bayelsa and Rivers, calling for his immediate release.
The protests culminated as a result of the arrest and continuous detention of the director of Radio Biafra and leader of the IPOB by the Depart of State Service (DSS).
Meanwjile, eight persons including a female, alleged to be supporters of the MASSOB, involved in Tuesday, November 10 protest that grounded the streets of Port Harcourt were today arraigned by the police before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
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