We were told Biafra would offer us jobs when achieved.
• We were sad about the killings in southeast but …
• Kanu’s messages hypnotised us.
Recently, operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team, IRT, raided a hideout of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, where members of the group where caught donating money they said would be sent to their Supreme Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to fund the activities of the group in the Southeastern part of the country.
Vanguard gathered that 20, members of the group, who were identified as Ebere Elemoha , Vincent Kalu, Henry Chijoke Ezerim, Eleo Ejemechukwu, Vitus Enemor, Mba Anthony, Chimezie Monday, David Agu, Uche Jonson, Ikokwu Obiagu, Kingsley Igweche, Cyril Anayo, Ikechukwu Eze, Emeka Nnaegbo, Ben David, Ofia Romanus, Nicholas Collins, Iginus yeokezie, Jain Ijeoma, were arrested in church premises at the Tungamaji area of Abuja where they were holding a meeting.
Sources disclosed that the suspects were caught contributing money for the activities of the group and they were accused of recruiting some of the dismissed soldiers who trained the Eastern Security Network, ESN, fighters, in the Southeast and the police operatives recovered receipts and evidence of oaths they were made to swear to be loyal to their supreme leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Some of the suspects who spoke to Vanguard said that they were hypnotized by Nnamdi Kanu’s messages on Radio Biafra.
They said they were convinced that the State of Biafra could be achieved through a referendum and they joined his group and started donating money to its cause.
They said that they in turn convinced some of their members to join the ESN training in the Southeast but they were disappointed, when the group started killing security agents. They said that Nnamdi Kanu directed that security checkpoints be dismantled in the Southeast.
When interviewed, 49-year-old, Ebere Elemoha, a native of Ibitolu in Imo State, said: “I am a trader at Zuba Spare part market. I am married with seven children. I was arrested because I am a member of IPOB and I am the coordinator of Zone 9, which comprises Zuba and Tungamaji areas of Abuja.
“We use to have our meetings once in a month in Tunjamaji and we pay monthly dues of N500 and we use to send the money to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is our Supreme Leader. I have never met Nnamdi Kanu in person and I listen to him just on Radio Biafra.
“It was one Mazi Ikone that made me join IPOB and I was told that there will be a referendum and I will also have the opportunity to vote.[%b]
[b]“I use to relate events within my zone to our state coordinator and We normally send our money to the state commander and we don’t know how they send the money to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“In the last four years the money we have made have been used in supporting the IPOB in the south east. When we joined the group, we were made to swear to an oath of allegiance to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. I don’t know what is going on in the group.
“I was brainwashed by Nnamdi Kanu, now I am regretting my actions as a person. I am now being rehabilitated and I will make sure that I shut down IPOB in Abuja. It was Nnamdi Kanu that asked all the Zones to send men to east for IPOB training.
“The oath we took was that if we fail to follow instruction of Nnamdi Kanu, that we will die mysteriously. I sent Joe, one of our members for the ESN training. When he came back he said he wasn’t pleased with what he saw and he wasn’t going back to them again.
“I was angry that the Imo state prison was broken and the policemen are being killed, killed by fighters we sponsored their training.”
Vincent Kalu, another suspect said: “I am from Ohafia area of Abia State. I am married with a child. I reside in Tugamaji area of Abuja. It was the use of android phone that got me into this mess. I joined IPOB because they said the state of Biafra would be created through a referendum, but I do not know that I was being deceived.
“I didn’t support the killings in the Southeast but only just remained in the group as we were holding meetings. I don’t have any access to Nnamdi Kanu and I also do not have access to the State Chairman, William Pomtera. I didn’t support the IPOB killings in Southeast.
“I also took an oath to be loyal to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and if I fail to obey any of his commands that I will die mysteriously.”
“I am Henry Chijoke Ezerim, 38, Isialambano Imo State. I am married with three daughters. I am a piano instructor but I joined IPOB because one Pastor Ude Joseph, spoke to me about them and he said that Biafra will have their republic by referendum and he told me that it is only those who are IPOB members will be considered for job opportunities.
“I was promised a receipt which they said will be presented for job offers when Biafra is achieved. They told me that before I would become a member I would have to pay six months dues. Which is N6000.
“I was made the Abuja State Public Relations Officer some time in March 2021. My job as a PRO was to write and disseminate notice of meetings within the various Zonal PROs in Abuja.
“Before I joined, I was told that Biafra would be achieved without a shot being fired, but I was disappointed when Nnamdi Kanu declared the ESN, and he asked us to fast for 40 days and he said after then there will be no more security operatives in the southeast.
“That was when we started hearing of the attacks on police formations in the Southeast and I wasn’t happy about it but I couldn’t do anything because I had sworn to an oath to be loyal to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or I will die mysteriously.”