By Chuks Eke
A coalition of Civil Society Organizations, CSO, based in Onitsha, Anambra state has given the Nigeria Police a 30-day ultimatum within which to produce a middle aged Nigerian citizen, Mr. Innocent Ezeani whom they declared wanted some time ago.
In a communiqué issued to newsmen in Onitsha, the group condemned in its entirety the action of the police in declaring Innocent Ezeani, a bonafide members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB wanted
after they failed to shoot him dead during a combined military and police raid on IPoB members sometime in August, 2015 at the St. Edmund Catholic Church, Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, while they were in a prayer rally.
In the communiqué signed by the group’s Spokesperson, Chief Emeka Okoye, the group noted that the ultimatum was stemmed out of the fact that Innocent’s father, Hyginus Ezeani and other family members have been searching for him ever since he was declared wanted by the police.
They said his father informed them and they verily believed him that the family members have searched all the nooks and crannies of police and military formations in the state in an effort to get the whereabouts of Innocent but to no avail till date.
CSO further noted that his family informed them that the travail of Innocent started when he and other members of IPoB converged on St. Edmund’s Catholic church premises at Nkpor on that August 2015 to pray for the repose of the souls of Biafran heroes who were massacred during the Nigerian/Biafran civil war.
They said his father recalled that it was during the prayer rally that the combined military and police personnel swooped on the IPoB members and opened fire on them which led to death of many IPoB members, while scores were injured and on the process, Innocent, now missing, barely managed to escape from the hands of the Nigerian security agencies which made the police to declare him wanted.
They expressed concern that the police might have either arrested and neutralized him or hounded him into a dungeon where his whereabout can no longer be ascertained.
They regretted that in Igbo land, Fulani herdsmen are busy kidnapping and slaughtering the people and at the same time raping the rural women, old and young, while using their cows to destroy farm lands, seize their ancestral lands, and consequently propagate their Islamic doctrines to the conquered natives.
According to them, “operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN are commonly found in the woods and forests pushing back the menace of Fulani herdsmen. Much to the astonishment of most Nigerians and the international communities, the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government treats the transgressions of Fulani herdsmen with kid gloves”.
“The government shields them from being prosecuted legally, while clamping down forcibly with every instrument of the state on any person or persons like the IPoB members whose major aims and aspirations are merely for the restoration of independent state of Biafra”.