Wednesday, February 12, 2020 12:28 am
Palpable fear and tension have enveloped the quiet Afaraukwu Ibeku community in Abia North Local Government Area of Abia State over the burial of parents of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) scheduled for Friday.
Kanu’s mother, Sally, and father, Eze Israel Kanu, the Traditional Ruler of Afaraukwu Ibeku, died in August and December 2019, respectively.
They will be buried in their country home in the community.
But the News Agency of Nigeria reports that some residents of the community are already relocating to other parts of Umuahia, as residents fear a possible police/IPOB clash during the burial.
Abia Police Command has warned that it will not allow any member of IPOB to attend the burial in their regalia and will not allow any item with Biafra symbol to be displayed.
But the Police said its intention is not to scuttle the burial.
In a statement made available to NAN in Umuahia on Tuesday, the command’s spokesman, SP Geoffrey Ogbonna, urged the public to “disregard the rumour” that the police commissioner was plotting to scuttle the burial.
Ogbonna stated, “the Commissioner of Police urges the public to disregard the rumour making the rounds that he wants to scuttle the burial.
“On the contrary, he has the good intention to provide security for lives and property of the people during the burial.”
He further stated that 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.
He stated that the command had been inundated with intelligence “that miscreants disguising as IPOB members intend to hijack the burial, in solidarity with its leader.”
According to the statement, the police boss assured residents and sympathisers that the command would provide adequate security for lives and property during and after the burial.
He further warned IPOB “to steer clear from the environment”, saying that the command “will not fold its arm and watch their unlawful activities.”