NIGERIA – The Biafra Zionists Federation, BZF, on Tuesday called for the immediate withdrawal of troops from all the roads in the defunct Biafra region.
This is coming amidst complaints from commuters over alleged harassment and extortion by soldiers deployed for the Army exercise, ‘Atilogwu Udo 1’.
In a statement issued by the self-acclaimed President of BZF, Barr. Benjamin Onwuka, he said the Army Operation should be suspended immediately.
It could be re-called that the Nigerian Army had on November 1 launched another Army Operation patterned in line with the Operation Python Dance, which generated controversy last year.
Onwuka in his statement described the on-going exercise as a further subjugation of the Biafran people.
He also described the recent petrol tanker fire in the area as ‘a well planned terrorist attack.’
He said, “the Nigerian Government is here once again with their oppressive tendencies against the good people of Biafra land. We recall vividly all the terrible things the Army did here last year in the name of Operation Python Dance.
“Now, they have come up again, this time with a deceptive acronym, Atilogwu Udo or whatever they call it. We don’t care about whatever name they give their attack dogs, but our stand is that their troops should be withdrawn forthwith from all our roads.
“We are already receiving disturbing reports about their activities across all the zones in our area. Drivers, passengers and innocent people are already been harassed and dehumanized, even for answering phone calls.
“To this end, we demand suspension of the said exercise and immediate end to the militarization of the Biafra land. We are not fighting another war, neither are Boko Haram elements residing here. We reject any form of Army invasion of our territory under whatever guise, or whatever acronym.
“The Army cannot come here to be searching our people for any form of identification, they know where to find Boko elements.
“We have already reported them to the United States and Israel and our demand is simple- they should take their exercise to the North-East and leave innocent Southerns alone.”
On tanker fire, Onwuka added, “this is the fourth time that a gas-ladded tanker exploded in Onitsha Anambra State; it is not an accident in any form, but a well coordinated attack on innocent traders. How come it does not happen along the Highways but in densely populated areas?
“So, we believe that they wire the tankers with IEDs, detonate same and kill our people in their numbers. No such incident has ever been recorded in the North and that is why we said it is pre-planned. We say that enough is enough, even as I urge all our people to be on their guard.”
He called on all South-East Governors to set up a Special Marshal, saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the activities of tanker drivers.
Meanwhile, Onwuka has also announced that he would on December 1, 2019, visit his Abia State country home for the first time since he began the Biafra struggle several years ago.
He said this would be followed by the launching of Biafra currency later in the month.