Contrary to the report of the Nigerian forces who claim to have attacked the ‘Eastern Security Network’ camp in Imo State, where they killed the commander alongside six other people in a shootout, Nnamdi Kanu who is the general-commander of the non-state security group that the Nigerian government had declared “illegal”, said “there was no shootout”.
The human rights activist disclosed that “Ikonso was killed in his house,… where he was sleeping in the middle of the night”.
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The Eastern Security Network (ESN), which is supported by majority citizens in the Eastern region of Nigeria alongside other citizens from other parts of the country, was formed by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to fight terrorism and the killings committed by armed Fulani jihadists disguising as “herdsmen”.
Nigeria: ‘Govt shields Fulani terrorists, kill those struggling for self-defense’
Catholic bishops of the ecclesiastical provinces of Onitsha and Owerri in Nigeria have expressed their displeasure with the insecurity in Nigeria and the way in which government forces attack and kill those who they say are “struggling for self-defense” in the country.
The church leaders blamed the federal government led by Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani Muslim, for the violence and crisis in the country, noting that there is a “lopsidedness of the application of justice”.
The catholic leaders made their concern known in a 5-minute video posted on Facebook Tuesday, May 11 following their extraordinary Onitsha/Owerri Inter-Provincial Bishops’ Meeting on the situation of Nigeria, where they also said the government is “crushing those who are crying.”
“The state of Nigeria in different parts of our country with so much violence, insecurity and anxiety is a source of major concern to us Bishops, the said in the message read by Archbishops Anthony Obinna of Owerri and Valerian Okeke of Onitsha.
“The injustice, the insecurity that is very noticeable at various levels of government and high handedness with which government and security personnel approach various segments of this nation has led to public outcry, public dismay and disappointment.
“The government has found it necessary to disarm those who are struggling for self-defense while leaving those herdsmen, bandits and others who are killing many and destroying people instead of addressing the source of the problems, addressing the cries of the people.
In their collective message issued May 6, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) called on the country’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to be open to criticisms and to not embark on any form of propaganda against Church leaders who, when they speak, do so for the common good of the nation.
They said that the APC government should “listen to every Nigerian, both political actors in other parties, and non-political actors in Nigeria and the diaspora.”
“There is no need to spend so much of your time trying to blackmail anyone who criticizes your Government.”
Since 2009, Nigeria has come under attacks from Boko Haram and other Islamist terrorists in the north, alongside killing of Christians by Fulani herders who seek to turn the entire country into an Islamic state.
ACI Africa contributed to this report
Chadian security forces fire upon protesters in southern town
At least four people were shot and wounded in Chad’s southern Mandoul region on Saturday when security forces fired upon a crowd demonstrating against last month’s military takeover, witnesses and hospital sources said.
Protesters in the town of Sarh, about 550 kilometres (340 miles) from the capital N’Djamena, banged pots and pans in a show of defiance against the military council that has taken over since Chad’s longtime ruler Idriss Deby was killed last month.
Police responded by firing into the crowd with live ammunition, witnesses said. One person who was shot in the abdomen is in critical condition, according to a medical worker who requested anonymity.
“Two of my friends were wounded by gunshots right in front of me, and spent more than an hour on the spot before they could be transported to the hospital,” Allaissem Bernodji Manace, who protested in Sarh, told Reuters.
“We lived through a terrible scene,” he said.
Civil society leaders in the neighbouring town of Koumra said that a dozen people were arrested during a parallel protest, to which security forces responded with beatings and teargas.
A representative of Chad’s military council declined to comment on the actions of security forces, but said the protesters were “just young people who marched through the streets creating traffic jams.”
The demonstrations in Mandoul occurred at the same time as a funeral for five people in N’Djamena who were killed on Tuesday during clashes between protesters and security forces.
The army’s response to those protests was condemned by some of Chad’s strongest allies, including France, the United States and the African Union.
The military council, led by Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, has promised to hold elections within 18 months. Deby was killed on April 19 as he visited troops fighting rebels opposed his 30-year rule.
Chad’s transition is being closely monitored by its Western allies, who have worked with the central African nation to combat militants across the Sahel.
When I’ll Declare Biafra, I’ll Be On Ground Myself — Nnamdi Kanu
Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Biafra separatist group – the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, says he will not proclaim the eastern region of Nigeria as a sovereign state of “Biafra” from exile.
“I will be on ground myself,” said the human rights activist who has been in exile since 2017 after government forces raided his home where they killed 28 civilians in an attempt to assassinate him.
The renewed quest for an independent state of Biafra, has met brutality from the Nigerian government whose security forces have killed at least 1,000 people demanding a referendum, after the civil war that left more than 3.5 million civilians dead.
Nnamdi Kanu, whose parents died following the shock of the military raid on their home in Umuahia, has always pledged to restore the “Republic of Biafra” without minding the price.
His supporters who are predominantly Christian in the southern part of Nigeria believe that the disintegration of Nigeria and actualisation of an independent state of Biafra is the only solution to marginalization, including terrorism and killings by jihadists trying to invade the overrun Christian communities in the country.
“Prepare while we move together,” Kanu told “Biafrans” on Thursday via a short post on his Facebook page.
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