FG, British High Commission Mum As IPOB Warns Envoy To Avoid S/E

fg, british high commission mum as ipob warns envoy to avoid se
fg, british high commission mum as ipob warns envoy to avoid se

The federal government and the British High Commission in Abuja remained silent Thursday in response to a warning issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) urging the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to halt planned travels in the South East on the grounds that they could be “suicidal.”

In a statement published by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, and made accessible to Shauntv News in Awka, the capital of Anambra State, on Thursday, the outlawed separatist movement accused unknown individuals of plotting to assassinate the British envoy in the region and place the blame on its members.

Powerful, who accused the high commissioner of “Hatred against the Igbos and Biafra,” stated that the group had no intention of harming Ms. Laing, but that she “Must as a matter of life and death cease all of her planned activities involving travels” in the South East.

In a statement published on May 6, the British government stated that while it maintains its opposition to recognising IPOB as a terrorist organisation, as sought by the Nigerian government, it will not offer shelter to anyone associated with the violent acts of the group.

The IPOB said that its intelligence arm, M-Branch, provided it with information regarding the purported plot to assassinate the ambassador.

“We advise Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner, to be more environmentally conscious. We further request that the British high commissioner discontinue her frequent excursions to various regions of the Nigerian countryside, particularly Biafraland, sometimes known as the South East.

“This earnest security advice is intended to save her life. Despite her hatred for Biafra and Igbos in particular, we hold the sanctity of life, especially of visitors to our nation, in the highest regard.

The statement claimed that the plot was a “Orchestrated conspiracy to perform a sacrifice large and potent enough to increase the British animosity against the Igbos and Biafra.” The objective of this high-profile plot is to use a highly situated individual capable of creating international headlines as a scapegoat.

“Their goal is to crush the self-determination movement and kill as many Indigenous Biafrans and other Biafra inhabitants as possible.”

IPOB does not desire for the British envoy’s death, according to Powerful. “However, if she disregards this advise and steps into the trap already created by foes of the Biafra cause, that will be deemed suicide.”

According to the statement, IPOB has never attacked British persons, citizens, institutions, investments, or properties of any kind, nor does it intend to do so in the future, despite being on the receiving end of the British government’s hostile attitudes, Igbophobic, Biafraphobic, and draconian policies.

The group also accused presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu and “co-cabals” of plotting to damage the reputations of ESN and IPOB.

No response from the FG or high commission

Thursday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Segun Adeyemi, declined to comment.

Dean Hurlock, the head of communications at the British High Commission in Abuja, agreed to respond to our reporter but had not done so by the time this report was filed.

When urged to answer, Hurlock stated, “We do not have any for you at this time.” Sorry.”

Regarding if the British High Commission still disagrees with Nigeria’s classification of IPOB as a terrorist organisation, he reiterated that the position remains unchanged.

Warning reveals the extent of instability in the South/East and a plot to humiliate – Don

Two political scientists and foreign relations experts who remarked on the matter Thursday night said that IPOB’s threat demonstrated the gravity of the security threat in the South East and was an attempt to gain political points.

Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Lagos State University (LASU), Sylvester Odion, stated Wednesday that the IPOB recommendation to the British High Commissioner demonstrates the high level of insecurity in the southeast of the country.

In an interview with Daily Trust last night, Odion said that the British diplomat could be a target due to Britain’s assistance of the federal government against Biafra during the Civil War.

According to him, the IPOB warning has only highlighted the severity of the instability in the South East and the militants’ apparent authority over that territory.

“It is extremely risky for any VIP to travel at this time. Even Igbo people, who are indigenous to the South East, are fearful of travel, let alone a large target.

The university dean cautioned the British Commissioner that travel to the South East could be hazardous, despite the fact that the United States and the United Kingdom had issued travel warnings for their residents to avoid the East and other parts of the country.

“Perhaps it would be in their best interest to warn diplomats not to visit there, and I don’t see why diplomats would want to travel to the East when the United States and the United Kingdom have issued travel warnings for specific sections of Nigeria.”

“It may be seen in this light, and if they are antagonistic to British diplomats, it cannot be unrelated to the role they played when Nnamdi Kanu was to be deported from Kenya without British intervention on behalf of someone believed to be a British national.”

According to Dr. Kabiru Sa’id Sufi, a lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at Kano State College of Arts, Science, and Preliminary Studies, the major purpose of the statement is to humiliate the federal government and send the international community the incorrect message.

He explained, “The primary purpose of the statement is to humiliate the federal government of Nigeria and to exaggerate the situation.” However, few people can view it from this perspective.

“There is a good chance that this declaration will cause widespread unease, impede diplomatic efforts, and send the wrong signals.

“I believe it should be minimised. The federal government must respond to the remark and also give a reassuring message, not only to the diplomatic visitor but to everyone else as well, assuring them that everything is in order.

“The comment has many ramifications, especially given that the president has recently lamented the lack of direct foreign investment in the country. It sends a strong message to the world community that certain regions of the country are not secure.

“Secondly, there is a chance that countries would issue travel advisories to its citizens advising them not to travel to certain regions of the country, which will have political and economic repercussions for the country.

“It also demonstrates that the immensity and scale of the issues in the region exceeds what local media portrays and what people know and believe about the crisis’s scope. Therefore, it has so many ramifications,” Dr. Sufi said.

INEC personnel hurt as militants raid Enugu registration centre

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that one of its employees was hurt when gunmen believed to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) attacked registration officers in Enugu State.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated yesterday in Abuja, “As a result of the ensuing stampede, one of our staff members was injured and is currently undergoing medical care.

Two voter registration machines and staff members’ personal things, such as mobile phones, were lost.

Mr. Jude Okwuonu, Administrative Secretary in Enugu State, reported that at approximately 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, gunmen attacked INEC officials engaged in the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise at the Community Primary School, Umuopu in Umuozzi Ward 19, Igboeze North Local Government Area.

According to him, the gunmen fired randomly into the air to disperse voters and election officials.

He recalled that arsonists destroyed the INEC office in Ogboeze North Local Government Area on July 3, 2022.

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