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Thursday 3 June 2021

The War Crimes in Orlu and the Nigerian Army Perfidy

What the people of Orlu (Imo State), are currently experiencing in the hands of the Nigerian military is simply a crime against humanity, being aided and abetted by the lack of accurate reportage by the Nigerian media under the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). Journalism has become a terrible illusion in Nigeria. It is worrisome, knowing that these people are unarmed and defenseless while the military men are armed to the teeth. No wonder then why people are sure that the Islamic Fulani-controlled regime is presently waging a war against Biafrans.
Overwhelming evidence confirms unarmed, suspected members of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), are tortured, maimed, abducted, raped, and killed in cold blood by the military.

The troubling unawareness of the world on what is happening in Orlu stems from the Nigerian mainstream media epileptic reporting. In other words, the reporters are failing abysmally in keeping the world informed about the cruel atrocities that are being committed against rightful agitators for the restoration of Biafra. 

The Nigerian mainstream media’s brutal blanket attacks on all matters relating to IPOB, further helps to divert attention from the ongoing atrocities. Due to these reporters’ unethical, unprofessional and cowardly behaviour, critical questions on this war of Fulani led government against thd indigenous people encaged in Nigeria, have remained unanswered.

 Firstly, ‘why’ is the Nigerian military bent on committing another genocide against these peaceful unarmed Biafran Republic agitators in Orlu, while pampering Boko Haram terrorists organization headquartered in the Northern part of Nigeria?

To understand the reason for this war, one needs to note that Biafraland is the last bastion of Christianity in Nigeria. More than 99.99 percent of the population of the Indigenous People in Biafraland are non-Muslims. By standing on the way of the Fulani-led jihadists, hellbent on Islamising the whole of Nigeria, it becomes clearer why these Biafran agitators remain this regime’s prime targets. Considering too the firmly entrenched positions of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which stands against the agenda of the Islamic-controlled Nigerian regime, the brutality from the Nigerian Fulani-controlled military, seems inevitable. Since war has been declared on Biafra, our attention must turn to the second crucial aspect: the ‘how’ question. Because international laws offer rules on how to justly conduct wars, all of which the Nigerian army has brazenly and inhumanely violated. 

Already, leaked report from the Nigerian Army reveals that the preferred tactics for quelling every perceived agitation for the Biafran state by the IPOB members in Orlu, is the shoot-at-sight order. Giving the soldiers powers to shoot without due consideration in Orlu town, implies that any civilian is indeed a legitimate target. This non-selective tactic explains how a soldier gunned down the apolitical Mrs. Chinyere Nwokeocha. Even though it was alleged that a stray bullet hit her, this is still unconvincing. This crude method aligns with the historical pattern and facts of using the most lethal force against unarmed IPOB protesters which comes as no surprise. What clearly motivates the military incursion into Orlu, fits well into the regime’s Islamic agenda for Nigeria: killing Christians is deemed a religious duty. Quite predictably, even the Nigerian Communications Minister, Issa Pantami, was caught on camera tearfully confessing that he rejoices whenever Christians are violently killed.

Prominent politicians in the grip of this Fulani-dominated government, yet pretends not to see the soldiers, armed to the teeth, waging unnecessary war against civilians in Orlu. Of all the 36 governors in Nigeria, only the Governor of Benue State, that recently dared to use his official position to bring to attention, the particularly inhumane treatment being meted on unarmed and harmless IPOB agitators. 

Furthermore, the Governor asked why  Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah, have not been attacked by this regime with the same ruthlessness and vigour it does with the unarmed IPOB agitators. Yet both Islamic groups occupy uppermost positions on the global terrorist index. Mr. Ortom is righteously puzzled that IPOB is proscribed, but Boko Haram that possesses highly sophisticated weapons and commits the most gruesome killings are yet to be labelled a terrorist group by the Nigerian government itself.  

Incursion into Orlu does not serve any clear military goal. For the town itself is in no way, shielding IPOB ‘combatants’, if anything, going after agitators emboldens the unconverted to join the cause. Going to Orlu with all-guns-blazing encapsulates the thoughtlessness of the Fulani-led regime. For one thing, this irresponsible act traumatises children, women, and men of Orlu. The regime deludes itself that it can successfully shoot it's way out of the monumental crisis facing Nigeria.  

Nigerian soldiers are notorious for committing war crimes and lying to cover them up. Orlu is another tragic reminder that there are no inhibitions when it comes to the senseless killing of Biafrans. In a bus heading to Obigbo (Rivers State), three boys and a girl, who were overheard discussing the Biafran cause, were literally turned in by two fellow travellers at a ‘checkpoint’ where soldiers executed all of them.

Having caged journalists through hefty fines and threats, the Nigerian Military headquarters can conveniently lie to cover up its atrocities. The only source of credible information on what is happening in Orlu, are a few overseas-based online news outlets. The Sahara Reporters based in the United States of America, uncovered a strategy of selective deployment of Northern Muslim soldiers to the predominantly Christian town of Orlu in Imo State, Biafraland.      

Eye witness account leaves only decent individuals gasping in horror at the frequency of the extrajudicial killings by the Nigerian army. Take for example, the cold-blooded murder of Ikonso, who was dragged out of bed in the middle of the night and summarily executed. To a shocking degree moreover, the regime’s revisitation to Ikonso’s father’s house – days later – and burnt it to the ground, remains most crude, callous and wicked. These are indeed war crimes. 
There is a long list of summary executions of those carrying the Biafran flag, posting pro-Biafran comments on the social media or openly expressing admiration for the IPOB’s struggle.

Written by George Egwuonwu Anukwe

Edited by Chukwunyere E. Emenogu

For Family Writers Press International

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