Home / AFRICA / Exposed! DSS in Abuja Is Sparking Off Eth­nic Tensions; Plot to Nail Nnamdi Kanu And Brand IPOB A Terrorist Group Failed

Exposed! DSS in Abuja Is Sparking Off Eth­nic Tensions; Plot to Nail Nnamdi Kanu And Brand IPOB A Terrorist Group Failed

  • Herdsmen pose a threat to national security – Gov Ikpeazu
  • Report targeted at Kanu, say IPOB, MASSOB
Anger on Sunday trailed a report by the Depart­ment of State Securi­ty (DSS) that members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) were responsible for the abduction and killing of five Fulani herdsmen in Isuik­wuato area of Abia State.
In separate reactions, Gov­ernor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, IPOB, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sover­eign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Intersociety, described the report as misleading and un­professional.
In fact, IPOB and MAS­SOB claimed that the Federal Government, through the DSS, rushed to issue the report to in­criminate detained Biafra lead­er, Nnamdi Kanu.
The DSS had accused IPOB and MASSOB members of kill­ing the Fulani herdsmen and burying them in shallow graves in Isuikwuato.
Governor Ikpeazu warned that the herdsmen pose a seri­ous security threat to Nigeria and called for quick measures to curb their excesses “before it becomes too late.”
In a statement he issued on Sunday, Governor Ikpeazu ex­pressed sadness over the claims by the DSS in Abuja, when there was no report to that effect em­anating from the security agen­cies including police and the DSS in the state.
Through his Chief Press Sec­retary, Mr. Godwin Adindu, the governor said there was no re­port “either from the police or the Army or even the DSS itself in Abia State” to authenticate the claims form the agency’s head­quarters in Abuja.
He wondered why “the DSS in Abuja and some sections of the media could not confirm from their men on ground be­fore going to the public.”
Ikpeazu said: “I just spoke to the state Director of DSS and he denied knowledge of any such development.”
He expressed worry that the DSS’ action could spark off eth­nic tensions across the country if not properly managed by all stakeholders.
Ikpeazu insisted that a crime of such magnitude could not have taken place in Abia with­out any security report from the State Security Council.
Earlier, at a three-day work­shop at the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, the governor decried the atroc­ities of herdsmen in the state and other parts of the South East zone.
“The menace and nuisance of cattle rearers has become a major security challenge in Ni­geria”, he warned.
Represented at the event by the Commissioner for Ag­riculture, Mr. Uzor Azubuike, the governor said that time had come when states should secure grazing fields in their localities and hand them over to the Fed­eral Government to avert clash­es between farmers and cattle rearers.
The governor described as ridiculous the Federal Govern­ment’s plans to import grass from Brazil for cattle when Ni­geria can supply the grass needs of the world.
He revealed that the state had already set up a commit­tee to help settle the herdsmen/ farmers’ crisis to avoid a repeat of the “Agatu experience”.
“We won’t allow what is hap­pening in Agatu and other parts of the North to happen here,” Ik­peazu warned.
On their part, IPOB and MASSOB described the DSS’ allegation as a ploy by the Fed­eral Government to nail Kanu.
They denied any involve­ment in the said abduction and killing of the herdsmen, main­taining that their non-violent stance in the struggle for self- rule had not changed.
IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Emma Powerful, told The AUTHORITY that the al­legation was part of the DSS’ desperation to brand IPOB as a terror group so as to justify the continued brutalisation of its members.
He said: “Killing is not on the agenda of IPOB because we are not criminals or a terrorist organisation but a responsible and organised freedom seeking group recognised by the United Nations (UN)”.
He continued: “IPOB has never for once planned to at­tack anybody because what we are pursuing is more than kill­ing herdsmen. We are pursuing the restoration of Biafra; we are not after Hausa or Fulani people. We are not part of any abduction or killing of herdsmen. We are not kidnappers. We are mature.”
MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, dismissed the report as “lacking merit and ev­idence because MASSOB and IPOB are non-violent organi­sations”.
He said: “This is the highest frustration exhibited by Nigeri­an security agencies against Bi­afra agitators to blackmail them as violent and terrorists so as to see evidence against Nnamdi Kanu.
“Why have they not raised eyebrows on several killings and destruction of lives and prop­erty by Fulani herdsmen in the past?” MASSOB queried.
He said neither MASSOB nor IPOB will be deterred or jittery because of “frivolous and baseless allegation of the DSS.”
To the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) the DSS had exposed itself as biased in its report.
Intersociety, in a statement by its Board Chairman, Eme­ka Umeagbalasi and Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Programme, in­sisted that “the DSS account is also not reliable.”

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