The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra in the South-East and Oodua People’s Congress in the South-West have said they are ready to protect the people in their regions from terrorists.
While MASSOB called on the Igbo in the North to “come back home,” the OPC said its plans to secure the South-West would remain in secrecy.
Speaking to Punch correspondent on Friday, Director of Information, MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, described the list of 25 victims of the March 18 bombing of a Lagos-bound luxury bus and several others at Sabon-Gari Park, Kano, released by the state Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, as a fallacy.
Suspected terrorists had attacked the ever-busy luxury bus park in the metropolis, with a bomb that left 75 dead and many others injured.
Madu accused the governor of trying to create confusion by giving the impression that the attack was not targeted at the Igbo. He said the group had “75 dead bodies, purely Igbo” on its record.
He said, “When the attack took place, we called the Biafran Intelligent Agency – the MASSOB security arm – and we got first-hand information.”
He called on state governors in the South-East to facilitate evacuation of Igbo people from the North, adding that the northern governors had failed to protect non-indigenes.
He further said MASSOB recently sent 18 buses to the North for the evacuation of the Igbo, adding that it would send more.
The National Publicity Secretary of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Tony Oganah, also said the group would probe the names of victims of the blast to ascertain the number of the Igbo affected.
He argued that the only way to get the authentic list was from the passengers manifest available to operators of the affected vehicles and not from the governor.
“I smell a rat because it doesn’t make sense for the bulk of people going to the South-East from the North to be northerners. It doesn’t make any sense,” Oganah added.
The founder, OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, who refused to give details of security measures put in place, said, “Any fighter that announces his strategy is a very poor fighter. I am sure Boko Haram has no business in the South-West. I think it (presence of the sect in Lagos) is a speculation.”
Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, however called for a thorough investigation of the suspected terrorists arrested in Lagos, saying militants from the South-South might be culpable.
The National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, also said, “The suspected terrorists occupied a house in Lagos and the house belongs to Bayelsa State – Bayelsa has admitted owning the house but denied knowing the suspects. That is why we have called for a thorough investigation because we knew that some elements of the Niger Delta had come to Lagos to attack the Atlas Cove. We want to be sure of what is happening.
“Wherever the enemies are coming from, I want to assure them that Yorubaland will not be defenceless and let nobody try any act of terrorism in the land because the Yoruba don’t terrorise anybody.”
Shortly after the Kano attack, the state Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Tobias Idika, had said, “This is the worst experience of the Igbo in Kano; we have lost over 60 souls, while five buses were burnt to ashes. These show that we have always been the target of the attacks.”
However, Kwankwaso on March 22 released the list that had northerners as the majority, apparently to refute claims that the attack was targeted at the Igbo from the South-Eastern part of the country.