NPF Issues New Warning To IPOB: No Members, Flags, Or Colours To Be Allowed At Eze Kanu's Funeral Or The Police Elephant Will Trample!
Despite overtures from various sides calling for peace and calm to prevail during the burial of the parents of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on Friday a violent showdown between IPOB and the NPF is seeming to be more and more of a reality in the making.
This is because both sides are refusing to back down from positions already taken, nor are they laving any room for a compromise.
Let us start with the Nigeria Police first.
The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Ene Okon (below) has been adamant that IPOB members remain non-gratae at the event dubbed the funeral of the decade.
Yesterday he reaffirmed this by saying:
"I have already reached out to the traditional prime minister of Afaraukwu (Nnamdi Kanu’s community) and told him that if they want the burial to go smoothly and for police to give them security, they should tell IPOB, not to near the area not to talk of participating in the burial. If they fail to adhere to what we’ve told them, that means they do not want the burial to go on smoothly because we are going to scatter the place.
"IPOB is proscribed by the Federal Government. I, as the Commissioner of Police in Abia, cannot sit here and allow any proscribed group to operate anywhere in this state.
I am saying this again for emphasis that there is no way police will allow a proscribed group to participate in the burial of the King and Queen of Afaraukwu simply because they are the parents of their acclaimed leader, we will not allow that and we cannot take anything for granted in the face of abundant intelligence on threat by IPOB.
"If the burial committee writes to the police to provide security during the burial, we will oblige them on the condition that they will guarantee us that IPOB will never, ever be part of the burial, IPOB will never get near there, in fact, IPOB will never, even ever enter Umuahia.
"That police will not see any Biafra flag, IPOB insignia or IPOB member disguising as Jewish or Zionist Church members.
The Commissioner continued without mincing words:
" By saying they were coming for the burial, they are sending a signal to us telling us to be ready for them and we will be ready for them. We’ve told the organizers of the burial, if IPOB members are allowed to participate, we will do everything within our powers to disperse and if in the process the burial is disrupted, police will not be blamed
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"The Police did not organize the burial and so cannot cancel their burial, but if IPOB insists on hijacking the burial and taking it up, I will do everything within my powers and within the ambit of the law to make sure that IPOB does not bring a breakdown of law and order in this place.
"So, they are seriously warned in their own interest.
" I mean do you think we will sit down here and allow IPOB to participate in the burial? Whoever thinks along that line is fooling himself.
" If IPOB will dance during the burial then the police elephants will dance too."
And now to IPOB.
If those comments by the top Cop in Abia were supposed to instill fear in the pro-Biafra Republic separatists and make them deviate from their initial plan it has not.
In fact, their resolve has increased.
Emeka Powerful (above) the head of communications for the Movements scoffed at the NPF's words of caution saying:
" The Police can say whatever they want to say because they are serving their masters, but we know what we are doing and we must get Biafra.
" IPOB does not fear any threat neither is our leader.
"How can police arrest people that came for burial? We are not coming there for war or to cause a problem, rather we are coming there to pay our last respect to our parents.
"(The) Police should not dare us, we are not posing any threat to anybody and we don’t fear anybody; we will conduct ourselves peacefully on that day, that’s all."