SECESSIONIST group Biafra Nations League (BNL) has threatened to unleash mayhem on oil companies operating in Port Harcourt in response to Governor Nyesom Wike’s ban on Igbo’s meeting in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
In November last year, members if the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) clashed with security forces in Obigbo, leading to reports of about 50 people being killed. Apparently, Ipob members attacked several northerners living in the town, prompting Governor Wike to invite in the military, leading to gun battles.
Governor Wike not only outlawed Ipob in Rivers State but also imposed curfew on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area and then placed a N50m bounty on the head of the local Ipob leader. In response, Nnamdi Kanu, the head of Ipob, then placed a bounty of double the amount on the head of Governor Wike, saying soldiers went from house to house in search of Igbos living in the area.
In a clear escalation of the crisis, Governor Wike placed a ban on a planned meeting of some Igbo residents in Oyigbo Local Government Area. He added that he has taken the decision over fears that such meetings could spark fresh unrest in the local government area.
However, the BNL has warned Governor Wike to stop threatening Igbos merely because of the activities of Ipob. Accusing Governor Wike of being sentimental against the Igbo despite being an Igbo man, BNL said that the recent attacks in Imo State is nothing compared with those carried out by militants who are not Igbo in Rivers State some years ago.
BNL said: “Treating the Igbo as terrorists could give rise to real terrorism in Rivers State. We call on Wike to reverse the ban on Igbo groups to freely hold their meetings, otherwise we’ll deploy our men from Bakassi Peninsula to terrorise oil companies in Port Harcourt coastal areas.”
It issued a statement jointly signed by its deputy national leader Ebuta Akor Takon its chief of staff, Linus Essien, warning Governor Wike. Human rights group rights groups, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, alleged that at least 50 persons were killed at Obigbo and 80 others sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries, with many also blindfolded and taken to unknown destinations.