- Herdsmen pose a threat to national security – Gov Ikpeazu
- Report targeted at Kanu, say IPOB, MASSOB
Home / AFRICA / Exposed! DSS in Abuja Is Sparking Off Ethnic Tensions; Plot to Nail Nnamdi Kanu And Brand IPOB A Terrorist Group Failed
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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