Chiefs have implored the Defence Headquarters not to withdraw soldiers deployed to restore peace in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State in order to prevent remnants of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), from regrouping.
In press statement from government house, Port Harcourt states that the chiefs under the aegis of Ogbakor Oyigbo, have also urged all those who deserted Oyigbo to return as normalcy has been restored.
The appeal to the military authorities was made when the Publisher of the Ovation International Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, visited Oyigbo, to assess the situation in the area ground.
A high chief, Eze Ukwu III, Louis Okorie, told Momodu and his delegation that the community chiefs do not approve the withdrawal of soldiers from Oyigbo.
He expressed serious concern that if soldiers are withdrawn from Oyigbo, IPOB anarchists would unleash violence in the area.
“The Ogbakor Oyigbo General held a meeting here yesterday and said they will not allow the removal of soldiers from Oyigbo. On 12th of November, 2020 we met with the Local Government Chairman, Gerald Aforji, informing him of our plight. We don’t want Army to be withdrawn for the benefit of Oyigbo people. We need to be careful of the remnants of IPOB terrorists. We thank Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for imposing of curfew which has calmed down the situation in Oyigbo.”
In the same vein, High Chief, Lisbery Onyegorom, narrated that indigenes of Oyigbo were astounded by the wanton destruction unleashed on their community by members of the outlawed, IPOB.
“We were surprised by the level of destruction by the IPOB. We are Rivers State and Niger Delta people. Our people are not members of IPOB . I am not aware of any Oyigbo indigene who is a member. We don’t allow that.
“Now, that they have killed some soldiers, all of them have ran away. The Army is investigating and fishing them out. Most of the IPOB members arrested have given vital information about the remnants.
“We are in support of the Governor’s ban on IPOB activities across Rivers State and hoisting of IPOB Flag.”
Onyegorom frowned at allegation of extrajudicial killings leveled against Nigerian Army by some persons working for some extraneous forces playing petty politics with the Oyigbo issue.
“We are solidly behind our Governor’s effort to maintain peace in Oyigbo. The Governor did not say, go and kill people. The Army came on a rescue mission. That’s what they came for. It is the deployment of the Army that give us comfort to remain here. For now, we hear of threat to protest again. Army is going nowhere. Let the Army stay until we are sure of peace in Oyigbo.”