Some alleged members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), recently arrested by Police operatives in Abuja have recounted their experiences and what made them join the group.
Naija News understands the suspects were arrested by operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) who stormed their hideout in Abuja while they were holding a meeting.
They were apprehended with money been contributed for onward sending to the now arrested IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu to fund the operations of the group.
They were arrested while holding a meeting in the premises of a church located in the Tungamaji area of Abuja.
Those arrested 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, and Jain Ijeoma.
According to many of the suspects who spoke with newsmen, they were brain-washed into joining the group and were made to believe that their demand for an independent Biafra will not involve violence but a referendum.
They added that they couldn’t pull out again because they had been made to swear an oath of allegiance to Nnamdi Kanu as their supreme leader, with the threat of mysterious deaths if they left the group.
Some of them who spoke to Vanguard 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 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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the arrested leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has finally revealed details of where he was captured before being repatriated to Nigeria.
The detained IPOB leader told his lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor on Friday that he was arrested and detained in Kenya for eight days.
Ejiofor narrated that his client was arrested by Kenya’s Special Police Force at the country’s international airport before he was eventually handed over to Nigerian security operatives.