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Southwestern Nigeria hoists flag, plan to declare ‘Republic of Oduduwa’

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Oduduwa flag hoisted in Lagos - March 16, 2020

IBADAN — Amid the separatist movement in the eastern region of troubled Nigeria, the Yoruba tribe who occupy the southwestern part of the country are considering seceding and declaring an independent state known as the “Republic of Oduduwa”.

Secessionists on Monday and Tuesday hoisted the “Oduduwa Republic” flag in Ogun, Lagos and other parts of the southwestern region of the country.

Secessionists protests in Germany 2020

As the government remains silent on the situation, slight tension has grown in the towns where the flag has been hoisted.

Residents say they are concerned that the situation could generate a crisis in the regions, as the separatist members have pledged to achieve their goal.

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Meanwhile, government forces are still on the lookout for separatists in the eastern region of the country, where more than 3.5 million civilians were killed during the civil war that followed after the declaration of the independent state of Biafra.

The crackdown on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the main separatist group in the region, has resulted in the deaths of more than 200 members of the group and other civilians since 2015, many are missing and others still in prison.

Tidings

Police plot to attack Lagos and accuse IPOB, says Yoruba Group

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Apapo Oodua Koya (AOKOYA), a Yoruba group at the forefront of agitations for self-determination in southwestern Nigeria, said Nigerian police is plotting to attack Lagos and accuse the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – a secessionist group in the eastern part of the country.

The group made this known while refuting the claim by Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Police Commissioner who alleged that IPOB and secessionist group from the southwest were plotting to attack soft targets in the State.

“This is clearly another grand plot to set the Yoruba against Igbo. We do not believe the police claim,” said AOKOYA in a statement on Tuesday.

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“This is a game of wits. We urge Igbo and Yoruba to be aware. When Fulani terrorists were attacking Yoruba, kidnapping the people, the police did not mention any name.

“Now that IPOB is fighting for self-determination, the Fulani leadership is looking for a way to divide the emerging Igbo and Yoruba solidarity. This evil plot will fail.

“We call on the Federal Government to send soldiers to flush our Fulani terrorists in Yewa, Igana in Oyo and armed Fulani cells across the South West forests. IPOB is not Yoruba problem. IPOB is not kidnapping Yoruba people.

“IPOB is not occupying Yoruba forests. IPOB is not kidnapping, raping and killing Yoruba women and students. IPOB is not killing our farmers. The police should focus on Fulani terrorists in the South West instead of blackmailing IPOB.

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“We warn the Fulani Federal Government; do not bomb Lagos and then put the blame on IPOB in order to cause disaffection between Yoruba and Igbo.

“This is an old trick used by (Adolf) Hitler to set people against each other. It is one of the instruments Fulani have employed to keep themselves in power. The game is up.”

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Allegations that IPOB is plotting to attack Lagos is a lie — Kanu

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Nnamdi Kanu, rights activist and leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB)

The rights activist and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, refuted the claim that the group was plotting to attack Lagos state in southwestern Nigeria.

Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, said on Monday that the state police command was investigating the separatist group, Oodua Republic, alongside a threat from IPOB to carry out an attack against soft targets in the state.

“The public is hereby notified that the allegations that IPOB is plotting to attack Lagos is a Lie,” Kanu responded via a tweet on Monday.

The IPOB leader added that “Lagos State CP, Hakeem Odumosu who made the allegation is a former CSO to Tinubu & their intention is to fuel division between Yorubas & Biafrans. It won’t work. This is not 1967!”

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In recent weeks, accusations from police and some government officials alleging that separatist groups in the country are responsible for attacks on formations and officers of government security agencies met disagreement from many persons including security experts, who called the claims false.

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IPOB not responsible for attacks in eastern Nigeria — Lawmaker

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Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

Nigerian Senate minority leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has exonerated the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of the ongoing attacks on government forces and facilities in Nigeria’s eastern region.

The lawmaker said the attackers are “fifth columnists” brought in from other places to destabilize the region inhabited by majority Igbo Christians.

He told THE NATION that members of the separatist group are not terrorists, adding that the Nigerian government’s claims that they are behind the attacks are wrong.

“Anybody, who is seeing all these problems in southeast as coming from the IPOB, anyone trying to pin the insecurity situation in southeast to IPOB or MASSOB is making a mistake. We do not think so,” said Abaribe.

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“Those of us from the southeast here know that this is nothing but fifth columnists imported into Igboland to destabilise Igboland. This is because Igboland is the safest place that we had in this country.

“All they want to do is to cause a confusion and make this place ungovernable so that they can go out and say there is terrorism here.

“We are not terrorists. The ethos of the Igbo man is very simple: live and let live. We build; we don’t destroy. We never kill because we take life very precious.

“So, anyone telling you all these, it’s people who come from elsewhere trying to destabilize Igboland. But, it will never happen”.

ALSO READ:   Allegations that IPOB is plotting to attack Lagos is a lie — Kanu
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