Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) has placed the blame for the violence which erupted in Obigbo area of Rivers on Governor Nyesom Wike and Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) Leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The group stated this in a statement by its President General, Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Secretary General, Okwu Nnabuike.
The Governor has come under serious attacks in recent weeks over alleged human rights abuses and extra judicial killings in the area by the Military enforcing a 24hrs curfew imposed in the area in the wake of the violence that trailed the #EndSars protests.
But Wike on Monday alleged he imposed the curfew because IPOB protesters killed 6 soldiers, burnt down Police stations and courts in Obigbo.
He also denied ordering military actions in Obigbo, describing the accusations as politically motivated plots of his detractors to distract him from governance.
But OYC, in a swift reaction, reminded Wike there was burning of police stations,courts, killing of military personnel and police officers and destruction of public properties in other parts of the country especially in major south east cities like Aba, Nnewi, Abakiliki, Enugu, Onitsha, Owerri.
“But none of the Governors of these states ordered Military actions against their people.
“Wike as Chief Security officer of Rivers State will surely account for the loss of lives and brutalities in Obigbo in the near future as international human rights groups and activists are gathering informations and evidences of genocidal violence escalating in Obigbo Rivers State,” the group said.
“OYC vehemently oppose the 24hrs curfew placed on Obigbo with heavy military actions and onslaughts against the people which have continuously abused their fundamental human rights in Obigbo.
“The people have been denied access to food, adequate medicare, water because Rivers State Government unleashed state machinery against IPOB over what we perceived as relationship gone sour between Governor Nyesom Wike and IPOB Leadership led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”
OYC further said it had studied keenly the developments, buildup scenarios of Obigbo violence especially the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu’s utterances and claims that he worked and installed Wike as Governor of Rivers State, which shows that IPOB activities and protests in Rivers had been peaceful in the last 3 years.
“We had expected Governor Nyesom Wike to respond to these allegations and claims of Nnamdi Kanu installing him as Rivers State Governor. He should be man enough to clear his name and explain why it took Rivers State Government three years to proscribe the activities of IPOB in Rivers State and hope it is not a case of relationship gone sour?”.
“Wike should emulate Asari Dokubo and explain if there was any relationship with Nnamdi Kanu in the past ,and stop shifting responsibility”.
The group also blasted Mr Kanu for making inciting utterances which led to escalation of violence in the area.
“Nnamdi Kanu’s EndSars video and audio clips are enough evidences indicting him of inciting violence in Obigbo Rivers State, with unimaginable deaths and inhumane conditions that the people of the area now suffer indirectly caused by him.
“IPOB’s placing of N100m bounty on Governor Wike is a clear deviation from peaceful approach to self determination and non violent stance of Biafra agitation. Igbo Youths holds both Wike and Kanu responsible for the violence escalating in Obigbo”, the group said
The youth group further called for immediate ceasefire talks between Governor Nyesom Wike and IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu.
“There is established evidence that if both sides should stop this show of force, Ndígbo and indeed all Nigerians leaving in Obigbo will breathe fresh air and normalcy will return immediately. We are confident that both sides will surely accept this pleading of Igbo Youth Leadership in the interest of peace”
“When two elephants fights, the grasses suffer, when two friends fights, Obigbo people suffer. Let there be suspension of military actions in Obigbo in the next 48hrs ,as we are engaging Religious leaders, former Presidents and Heads of States to join OYC to pressurize both Governor Wike and Nnamdi Kanu for peaceful resolution of the crisis,” the group concluded. ENDS