The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Friday night ordered the full enforcement of the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, in Rivers State.
In a broadcast to the people of the state, the governor said the state government could no longer tolerate the destructive activities of the organization after three days of confrontation between members of the organization with security agencies and the Hausa community in Oyigbo and some parts of Port Harcourt.
IPOB members had stormed several police stations and killed senior police officers in Oyigbo and burned trucks and properties belonging to the Hausa community in the area.
The governor also declared one Stanley Mgbere from Onne Community in Eleme Local Government Area wanted and promised a ransom of N50 million to people that could provide information that would lead to his arrest.
Though, Wike said in the broadcast that Mgbere was the leader of IPOB in Oyigbo, Mgbere was actually one of the leaders of the #EndSARS protest that shut down the Nigeria Ports Authority Complex in Onne for five days.
Sources from his hometown, Onne said Mgbere is neither a member of IPOB nor was he resident in Oyigbo. But they suspect that he was being sought by government for his alleged role in the protest at Onne, which turned violent on Friday.
In his broadcast, Wike said, “Mr. Stanley Mgbere is hereby declared wanted for leading members of the banned IPOB to cause the recent violence and destruction of lives and property in Oyigbo Local Government Area; and
“A ransom of N50,000,000.00 will be given to any person with useful information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of the said Mr. Stanley Mgbere.”
On IPOB, he said, “Since its proscription, the group has carried out intermittent processions in parts of Rivers State, especially in Oyigbo and some notorious suburbs in Port Harcourt Local Government Areas.
“More often than not, these illegal processions have become regular occasions for armed IPOB members to disturb the peace of the State by unleashing violence and destruction on lives and property at will.
“The Rivers State Government had severally pleaded, warned and even advised IPOB and its members to discontinue its insurrectional actions in Rivers State to no avail.
“Instead, we were all witnesses to yet, another orgy of violence and destruction inflicted by IPOB at Oyigbo Local Government Area and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday 21st October 2020.
“This evil, wicked and audacious action resulted in the unnecessary loss of scores of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, including police stations, court buildings and business premises.
“Not done, they also visited physical violence on members of some targeted community which, but, for the quick intervention of the State Government and the security agencies, would have resulted in some form of internecine bloodbath in the State.
“Today, IPOB continued with its devilish and destructive activities at Rumukwurushi, Iriebe and Oyigbo in open defiance of the State Government’s curfew on human movements.
“Security intelligence and surveillance have revealed that IPOB has continued to expand its membership drive, holding meetings regularly, and expanding its logistical base, including the maintenance of illegal detention cells in Emenike and other parts of Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“As a matter of fact, Oyigbo town has practically become the group’s main operational base in Rivers State, from which they’ve become notorious for launching premeditated violence and terror on the State, businesses and innocent citizens.
“As a people, we have become very much unsettled by the terrorist acts and endured the continuing irritations, violence, destruction and provocations of IPOB in and against the people of Rivers State.
“We agree that Rivers State is part of Nigeria and has always been a home for all Nigerians and will continue to be because this is our true character.
“But it must also be understood that Rivers State belongs to the indigenous people of Rivers State. As a stranger element with strange political ideology therefore, IPOB has no legal or moral right to invade Rivers State or any part therefore at its behest; to disturb public peace; and subject lives and property to violence or threat of destruction under any guise.
“What is clear from this behaviour is that our love, accommodation and hospitality towards all are being mistaken for weakness by the banned IPOB.
“This being so, the time has come for us to sound this notice of warning that: enough is enough!!! We can no longer tolerate this IPOB evil monster in Rivers State. Never.”