There was chaos in Abia state as the ongoing conference of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) women was disrupted by Nigerian soldiers and policemen in Abiriba area of Abia state. The women resisted, protesting by removing their clothes and walking unclad on the street.
They marched to the house of the Abiriba local chieftain to protest the attack on them by the Nigerian Army and police.
Narrating their ordeal to the chief, one of the women said:
“We were just holding our national conference meeting and all of a sudden, Army men stormed the venue with 15 Hilux vans and started harassing and pursuing us. They tore our clothes, took four of our members, seized our vehicle and properties as they shot sporadically in the air. We were holding the meeting inside a compound and not in the street before they invaded,” she added.
chief promised to facilitate the return of everything taken from them. He also said:
“Everybody has a right to associate with anything or any organisation. It’s a free world. This is a fight that doesn’t require guns but wisdom. We don’t want the Biafra that killed people. I urge you to use diplomacy to follow this struggle.”
IPOB publicity secretary, Emma Pow condemned the attack by soldiers from the military cantonment at Ohafia, Abia State and faulted the Nigeria Police for joining the soldiers in the attack.
He noted that some of the women were stripped naked before they were taken to the army barracks at Ohafia.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra and its leadership worldwide condemn the unprofessional conduct of the Nigerian Army located at Ohafia against the Biafran and IPOB women’s general meeting holding in Abiriba, Abia State.Food, clothes and accessories belonging to the women were seized by the soldiers and taken to the Ohafia barracks.
“This undemocratic conduct of the Nigeria Army must be condemned by all civilized people and nations. The approach to civil policing adopted by the army makes a mockery of common sense and decency.
“Is it the duty of the army to be going about stripping women naked for no justifiable reason?”
“We further gathered from an eye witness at the conference venue that some of the women who were arrested by the Nigerian Army were totally stripped naked.
IPOB described the incident as the highest form of criminal brutality against Biafrans by security apparatus wondered when this crime against humanity and unprofessional conduct of the Nigerian Army will stop.
IPOB called on women organisations around the globe to condemn and take this abuse of Biafra women by the Nigerian Army to the rest of the world.
IPOB also called on Queen Elizabeth II of England, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and other notable women, including human rights organisations across the world, to protect the rights of Biafran women from the hands of the Nigerian Army.
In his reaction, the deputy director, Army Public Relations of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sagir Musa declined knowledge of the incident even though a video on youtube has gone viral.
After the bitter encounter with Nigerian Army, the Biafra women’s conference has continued in Abiriba