Biafran separatist organization in Nigeria, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has accused the Ghanaian government of virtually abducting 82 of its citizens in Ghana and keeping them incommunicado.
In a statement released Wednesday, IPOB said the victims were arrested and detained two years ago, demanding the return of their citizens.
“We are looking for 82 citizens of Biafra in Ghana. Ghana arrested and detained them two years ago and kept them incommunicado.”
The statement was read by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful.
IPOB is a Biafran separatist organization in Nigeria. Its main aim is to restore an independent state of Biafra in the Old Eastern Region of Nigeria, comprising mainly of today’s South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria; and also parts of the Middle Belt states of Nigeria such as Benue State and Kogi State, through an independence referendum.
The group was re-ignited in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu, a British Nigerian political activist known for his prominent advocacy of the contemporary Biafran independence movement.
In Wednesday’s statement, the group also accused the Akufo-Addo government of making itself a collaborator of the Buhari government in Nigeria to oppress Biafrans in Ghana.
“The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra has been drawn to the arrest, intimidation, harassment and incessant torture and humiliation of Biafrans living in Ghana by Ghana government and its security agencies. It’s quite unfortunate that the Government of Ghana has made itself a willing accomplice to the oppressive Nigerian Government to suppress the agitation for Biafra restoration. But Biafra is irrepressible no matter how hard the enemies try.”
The group also called on ECOWAS to intervene.
IPOB has often criticized the Nigerian federal government for poor investment, political alienation, inequitable resource distribution, ethnic marginalization, and heavy military presence, extra-judicial killings in the South-Eastern, South-Central and parts of North-Central regions of the country.
The organization rose to prominence in the mid-2010s and is now the largest Biafran independence organization by membership. In recent years, it has gained significant media attention for becoming a frequent target of political crackdowns by the Nigerian government.
It also has numerous sites and communication channels serving as the only trusted social apparatus educating and inculcating firsthand information and news to its citizens.