The Abia State Police Commissioner, Anthony Ogbizi, has said that with the proscription of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, by governors in the South-East and its declaration as a terrorist group by Defence Headquarters, arrested IPOB members would be tried as terrorists and anybody found with Biafra materials would be arrested and prosecuted.
This came as President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, held a closed-door meeting with some Northern governors before departing for New York where he will be attending the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, UNGA. This is even as former President Goodluck Jonathan has called for peaceful coexistence among the different ethnic nationalities.
In a related development, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said the Senate would meet with security chiefs to chart a path for resolution of contentious issues engendering tension in the South-East.
Mr. Ogbizi disclosed this at a media briefing where he paraded seven of the suspected members of IPOB at Ariaria police station in Aba. The police said they have arrested 59 suspected members of IPOB, in Abia State. They also confirmed the death of an officer after an attack by members of the now outlawed group.
He said the suspects would be prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism act to ensure they were properly dealt with. While restating what the army had earlier said, Ogbizi said IPOB had shown itself to be a “terrorist group,” which must be dealt with as such.
Mr. Ogbizi said the army recovered several exhibits, including the coat of arms of Biafra from the suspects, adding: “As I am talking to you now, information reaching me said they have started gathering at Nnamdi Kanu’s house.”
Mr. Ogbizi called on citizens to volunteer information on the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB and denied the rumors circulating in the state that security agents arrested Kanu’s father.
The governors that were in a closed door meeting with the President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja were Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
It was gathered that the meeting may be connected with the alleged skirmishes in some parts of the North where people from a section of the country were reportedly being attacked and their shops burnt as a reprisal attack to the recent development in the South-East.
Special Adviser to Governor Tambuwal on Media, Mallam Imam Liman, confirmed the meeting on his Facebook page yesterday in Abuja.