The spokesperson of The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Emma Powerful has warned Nigerian Police and security agents not to arrest IPOB members during the February 14, 2020 funeral ceremony of the parents of The Leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu; Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and his wife.
He made the statement on 12th February, 2020 in a press release sent to an online media outfit and it reads in parts thus; “We the global family of the Indigenous of People of Biafra (IPOB) wish to reiterate in clear and unambiguous terms that what Nigerian police and army are planning to do in Afaraukwu during the burial of Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and his wife on Friday 14th of February 2020 in Afaraukwu, Abia State, will spark a chain reaction that Nigeria will never recover from.
“Common arbitrary arrest of any mourner this week Friday is capable of inciting a disproportionate reaction from angry mourners. IPOB is warning all agents of the Nigerian government in Biafraland, traitors and caliphate slaves alike that what will befall CP Okon will also be their portion should shot be fired in Afaraukwu. The era of Nigerian army and police shooting innocent mourners in Biafraland has come to an end.
“What is happening in Umuahia with the provocative presence of Nigerian army and police is an insult to the people of Biafra and the Igbo race in particular. All those that have in various ways supported the unprovoked murderous clampdown on IPOB will pay dearly for it.”
Prior to the burial, the Police Commissioner in Abia State, Ene Okon, had warned members of IPOB to stay away from the ceremony. Okon had threatened that the police would scatter the burial ceremony.
In response to the above threat, Nnamdi Kanu vowed to hunt down family members of the Police Commissioner and his officers should they carry out their threats.
On 11th February, 2020, the Police stated that it was only against an IPOB gathering and would not disrupt the burial.
The command Public Relations Officer, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, in a statement said “he (Okon) has the good intention to provide security for lives and property of the people during the burial. “The presence of security operatives in and around the community should not be seen as a threat but a proactive measure to prevent the infiltration of miscreants and hoodlums into the community to foment trouble and truncate the burial.”
Ogbonna noted that the command heard “that miscreants disguising as IPOB members intend to hijack the burial, in solidarity with its leader.”
The spokesman warned IPOB “to steer clear from the environment”, stressing that the police “will not fold its arms and watch their unlawful activities.”