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Tension as Ebonyi govt bans IPOB, vows to arrest members

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By Sylvanus Okpe

Ebonyi State government has disclosed that it will no longer tolerate the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.

The Engr Dave Umahi led government also warned the citizens of the state to desist from identifying or associating with the group, maintaining that IPOB remained proscribed in the country.

Ebonyi State government, therefore, banned the group from holding or organising any activity in the state.

Members of the group had a few weeks ago organised a peaceful demonstration in the state in protest in protest of the already suspended proposed RUGA settlement for herdsmen and other policies of the Federal Government.

The position of the state government was made known through a statement jointly issued by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Kenneth Ugbala and the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Kenneth Uhuo in Abakaliki, the state capital.

The government further urged parents and guardians to restrain their children and wards from being part of any unauthorised gatherings. The statement also revealed that security agencies have been mobilised to deal with any individual or group found to be involved in any unlawful gathering in the state.

It noted that constructive engagement with the Federal Government will address all grievances of the Igbo in the country.

According to the statement, any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate should do so through the platforms of the South-East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other legitimate means within the country.

The statement reads in part, “the attention of the general public is hereby drawn to a Federal High Court order, which proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) since September 2017 and classified it as a terrorist organisation in Nigeria.

“By that order, the IPOB has become an unlawful organisation, and all its activities have become criminal within the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011.”

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