By Oginyi Ruth
The Ebonyi State government has warned members of the residents of the state against further participation and associating with members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
It explained that it is unlawful for residents of the state to participate in the group’s activities after it had been proscribed by the federal government as a terrorist group.
In a statement jointly signed by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kenneth Ugbala and the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Kenneth Uhuo, added that the activities of IPOB were now forbidden under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011.
The statement made available to journalists on Monday advised parents and guardians not to allow their children or wards to engage in any unauthorized and unlawful gatherings across the state.
The state government added that security agencies have been mobilized to deal with any individual or group found to be involved in any unlawful gathering in the state.
The statement noted that dialogue with the federal government will address all grievances of the Igbo in the country, adding that any individual or group that has any genuine reason to make any demand, should go through the South East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other legitimate means within the country.
The statement read, ”the attention of the general public is herebydrawn to a federal high court order, which proscribed the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) since September, 2017 and classified it as a terrorist organization in Nigeria.
“By that order, the IPOB has become an unlawful organization, and all its activities become criminal within the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011.
“Members of the public are therefore warned that any participation in the activities of the organization, under whatever guise has become an offence punishable under various laws of the country. As a responsible government committed to maintaining law and order, the state government is not going to allow IPOB to endanger lives and property of their citizens, by organizing any form of activity in the state.
“Any individual or group that has any genuine reason to agitate should do so through the platforms of the South East Governors Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and through other legitimate means within the Nigerian federation.
“The Ebonyi state government reiterates its belief that constructive engagement with the federal government shall gradually address allgrievances of the Igbos in Nigeria.
“Traditional rulers and Town Union leaders should be vigilant, and not hesitate to report to security agencies every suspicious movement in their domains”.
Recall that Members of the group under their religious group had a week ago organized protest in Abakaliki against the suspended proposed RUGA settlement for herdsmen, rape and other policies of federal government.