Suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who hoisted the Biafran flag at ‘Welcome to Bakassi’, the entry route to the Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State, have been arrested by Nigeria’s security personnel.
The agitators were reported to have attacked the security men stationed at the entry point and also harassed residents of the area on Wednesday.
According to residents, the suspected IPOB members stormed the area, chased away security men, and hoisted their flag.
Chairman of the Bakassi local government area, Iyadim Amboni Iyadim said a combined team of soldiers, policemen and Department of State Services (DSS) operatives were immediately deployed.
He said, “Security men have successfully dispersed the suspected IPOB men, removed the Biafran flag and restored order.
“By hoisting the Biafran flag, the boys may not know the consequences of their action. Some of these boys are ignorant, some are used by external forces.
“We have made them know that we are not taking their matter lightly. Security men have been deployed to the area. In fact, we have placed a temporary curfew in the LGA (local government area) from 7 pm.”
He further complained of the deteriorating security situation in Bakassi, saying it is compounded by the failure of the government to fulfil its promise to ex-Niger Delta militants who downed their tools and embraced amnesty.
According to him, the Nigerian government asked the agitators to down their weapons and embrace amnesty, disclosing that more than 500 surrendered.
He added that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the state government had picked nearly 160 and trained them to support themselves.
“The remaining ones don’t know when would be their turn and something is not also done to sustain them. So it’s difficult to stop them from harassing people to collect their valuables. Something should be given to them.
“We have done everything to curtail the activities of these boys. We used operatives to arrest them but the problem will never be stopped by that approach,” he said.
He disclosed that he had not been able to go to work due to fear for his life, Daily Post reports.
“The situation is so bad that I have not gone to work for the past one year because the council headquarters was completely raised down last year by people who are very disgruntled with the government. They burnt down the police station, brought down every government institution in the local government.
”As I speak, for more than one year I’ve not gone to work. I only work skeletally.
“Government should please come to my aid. We will not be able to remove these people from the local government without deliberate effort. The governor of Cross River State is trying his best but other people may join.
“Bakassi problem is a big one. Till today, there is no resettlement for the people. This is no compensation for the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.”