*Says army still patrolling community
*’Not true, family raising false alarm’ – CP
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The family of the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu has said that the Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Mr. Ene Okon, “is the major security threat” to the burial ceremony of their late parents, HRM Eze Israel Kanu, and Lolo Sally Kanu slated for Friday, February 14.
But in a swift reaction, the CP denied the allegation, saying that the family is raising false alarm to whip up sentiments.
This is as the family has also cried cried out against the continued presence of soldiers in their Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku country home ahead of the burial.
Spokesman of the family and the IPOB Leader’s younger brother, Prince Emmanuel Kanu who spoke with newsmen yesterday in Umuahia expressed disappointment and fury over the utterances of the police boss which he said was causing “unnecessary tension” in the state.
Prince Emmanuel accused the CP of “fabricating lies to blackmail the family” and justify a possible military action against mourners and guests of the family on the false pretext that they are IPOB members.
He said the CP was deliberately creating the false impression that the burial would be hijacked by IPOB or turned into a rally for Biafra agitation, ” an imaginary fiction that only exists in the mind of our mockers”.
His words: “How on earth can anybody imagine that the burial of Onyeze (traditional ruler) will suddenly be turned into agitation ground?
” It’s ridiculous that the CP has decided to concoct all kinds of tales to demarket our family, disrupt the ceremony and find excuses for more killings of our people and innocent mourners tagging them IPOB members.
” The CP is busy dishing out false information about the real situation in our community. His intelligence gathering is poor and questionable if he believes anybody has any sinister plans other than the burial that day.
” Afaraukwu is peaceful and will remain so before, during and after the burial except if the security agencies themselves are hatching any evil plots . Our community does not need the heavy presence of security for ordinary traditional burial.
“We want to reiterate that our parents’ burial will be peaceful and all those spreading false information about it will be disappointed. What we have on February 14 is burial of our parents and not Biafra rally.”
The family Spokesman called for the immediate withdrawal of soldiers who he said had continued to patrol the community since last Sunday.
He said the heavy presence of soldiers or any security agency in the community was “needles and a sheer waste of resources “, adding that the services of soldiers are most needed in the North East in the on-going war against insurgents.
“Nobody is armed in our community and we have made this position very clear that we are only going to conduct a peaceful burial for our late parents.
” The army, police and other security agencies should leave us alone and stop creating panic in the state. We don’t want any of our guests to be harassed or killed under any guise “.
The family called on the international community to hold the CP, the Army and the Federal Government accountable should anything untoward happen to mourners, and guests to the family during the burial.
Meanwhile when contacted the CP denied constituting any threat to the burial.
The police boss said the family was only raising false alarm and propaganda to draw public sympathy.
Okon explained that he had met severally with the Council of Chiefs in the community where they discussed modalities for security of people at the burial.
He said he had assured them that police would provide adequate security for all participants as well as members of the public.
“There will be peace and security of all people at the event because I have made plans to send enough police men at the venue.
The CP however said the only exception would be if IPOB members show up at the burial, vowing to arrest them on the spot.
“I told them that police will provide adequate security at the burial because it involves a traditional ruler. But the only exception is if IPOB participates at the burial.
” I can’t be CP and a group declared terrorists by the Federal Government will openly participate in a burial.”
Asked if the police were partnering with other any other security agencies like the Army to provide security at the burial, Okon declined from confirming if soldiers were part of the security arrangements.
He simply said police had always shared intelligence with sister security agencies and could always partner to review the security situation as the need arose.
On the alleged movement of soldiers around the community Okon who said it was the duty of police to provide internal security however explained that show of force by the army was a routine operation.