The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, says the military raid of Orlu and Orsu Local Government Areas of Imo State on Thursday marked the beginning of the second Nigeria/Biafra war.
IPOB, which made the declaration in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful, said that Nigeria had officially declared war against Biafra by launching a military raid on unarmed civilians.
On Thursday, the military had admitted launching land and air operations against operatives of Eastern Security Network, ESN, believed to be in the forests in Orlu and its environs.
IPOB argued that the military had no justification for launching an attack on ESN, a mere vigilante group protecting the Eastern region’s people against terrorists and killer herdsmen, whereas bandits rampaging the country are untouched.
The pro-Biafra movement vowed to defend Biafran land against occupation by herders no matter the cost.
After a series of attacks on Easterners resident in some northern states, Biafran’s earlier attempt on self-rule led to a 30-month bloody civil war between 1967 and 1970.
IPOB said Biafrans had no option left other than self-defence because the world has kept mute despite complaints and petitions over unprovoked genocidal attacks by killer herdsmen and terrorists against indigenous people in Nigeria.
The statement read in part: “We wish to bring to the attention of the whole world that the Nigeria military has, at last, brought war to Biafra land. Supported by other security agencies, including police and the Department of State Services, they came with military jets, tanks and heavy war equipment against us.
“Yes, the second Nigeria/Biafra war has begun! It began on Thursday, February 18, 2021, at Orlu in Imo State, Biafra land.
“The Nigeria military has simultaneously launched both land and air attacks on us. After the genocidal war of 1967-1970, in which they killed over five million innocent Biafrans, they have come again to bomb Biafrans under the pretext that they are hunting the gallant personnel of Eastern Security Network ESN guarding our forests against killer herdsmen and terrorists on a rampage in our land.
“Days before the raid, they first abducted a synagogue priest, Mazi Egole, and his household, branding them IPOB members. On February 16, they abducted Mrs Ngozi Umeadi, who they learnt took care of those injured during the #EndSARS protest.
“Not done yet, they took Dr. Stephen Irochi of Multicare Hospital and some injured #EndSARS protesters from Obigbo receiving treatment at the hospital.
“The government, which could not defend Biafrans against incessant unprovoked attacks against indigenous Nigerians, has now mobilised its land and air force against ESN patriotically and voluntarily doing the job that Nigerian security forces wickedly refused to do. The crime of ESN is defending locals against Fulani herdsmen.”
IPOB said scores of civilians had already been killed in the attack but vowed never to succumb.
“Orlu and its environs are now a theatre of war declared by the Nigeria government against innocent Biafrans. Scores of innocent civilians have already become casualties! Orlu and its neighbouring Orsu LGAs have been under heavy bombardment by the Nigeria Airforce since yesterday, February 18, 2021.
“We have no choice but to defend our ancestral land. We have complained enough, written petitions but the world turned blind eyes.
“The media refused to give us an audience. Nobody seems interested in our story but like the Jews, we must look unto our God and courageously fight back like heroes. In the end, Biafra will come!”
IPOB accused Governor Hope Uzodima of supporting the military raid and threatened severe consequences for all those involved in the attack.
“Regrettably, this genocidal war against Biafrans has the endorsement of Hope Uzodima who the Fulani Janjaweed Government is using in its futile desperation to actualise its Fulanisation agenda. But he, his likes and their slave masters will pay heavily for this!
“The world must hold Hope Uzodima and the Buhari-led Fulani-controlled federal government of Nigeria responsible for the ongoing genocidal war in Orlu and Orsu.”
IPOB accused the federal government of double standard for using brute force against peaceful agitators but negotiating with bandits and canvassing amnesty for them.
“The same hypocritical Nigeria military, which could not trace or locate heavily-armed bandits and Fulani terrorists in the forests of Zamfara and other Northern states, is now bombing ESN, a mere vigilante group.
“Miyetti Allah announced its nationwide security outfit and nobody bombed them till today. Amotekun was formed in the west and the tanks were not rolled out against them. But now that Biafrans have announced our vigilante group – ESN, to protect our people against terrorists kidnapping, raping and slaughtering our people in our ancestral land, all hell is let loose.
“We promise disgrace to our enemies. They shall be shamefully defeated. The war has begun! We shall defend Biafra and we shall triumph!
“No inch of Biafra land will be taken by the Invaders. We have vowed never to relinquish any inch of Biafra ancestral land to Fulani herdsmen from the Sahel. God of the Jews shall defend us against the enemies. This war will be different from the 1967 genocide!”
IPOB urged all Biafrans to defend their ancestral land against invasion and occupation by herdsmen.
The statement added, “May we, therefore, remind Biafrans all over the world that that decisive moment has come when they must stand to be counted. We need to rise like one people no matter the tongue or ethnicity, for we have a common destiny. We have all been marked for decimation, but we must resist them.
“Nobody should erroneously think he is exempted from the wicked plots of our enemies. Even our treacherous political elite should know that the Fulani will not spare them after using them against their people.
“Our people in the Nigeria military and other security agencies should also know that the enemies will reward them with death after using them to fight their kith and kin. We must stand united and fight for our children! Now is the time!”