On Friday a secessionist group, Biafra National Guard (BNG), has cautioned the Ralph Uwazuruike-led Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) not to play politics with the 19 members of the group recently released by the court after 15 years of incarceration.
The BNG also threatened to deal decisively with anyone or any group of persons that indulge in trading with its name for selfish and financial aggrandisements.
This was coming against the backdrop of the reported claim that the 19 BNG members, including the wife of its leader, Innocent Orji, are members of the BIM.
Recalls that the said members were incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Centre in Onitsha for over 15 years on the accusation of violent agitation for Biafra.
Howeverin a statement by its spokesman, Agwu Francis, BNG disclosed that it took them three years to force the release of her members, who are not guilty of any known crime under local and international laws.
The pro-Biafra group also said while it was fighting for their release, the BIM did not ask questions or render any form of financial support, noting that its leader did all that was within and outside his powers to force the freedom of the members.
It further opined that it is not against any form of compensation to her members by the Nigerian government but the compensatory process must go through the defence counsel of its members freed by the court, C. I Mezie.
“It has come to the notice that some unscrupulous elements who claimed 19 members of BNG-prisoners of conscience including the wife of Genera Innocent Orji are members of MASSOB or BIM-MASSOB and that gave them right to speak on their behalf or arrange a backdoor compensation.
“These are men without shame. Our members have been incarcerated for more than 15 years without any of them asking questions or sending any form of support. For more than 15 years, MASSOB or BIM did not ask any question while boasting that BNG is toothless and that was why over 19 of our members were then still incarcerated.
“MASSOB and BIM have been boasting over the years that they have no single members of their groups left in detention while giving their respective leaders praises. BNG was scorned; abused and booed because our leader General Innocent Orji was incarcerated along with our 19 members. These unscrupulous elements worked against the release of our members. Supported election when we opposed it shamelessly wants to do money business with our members.
“It took three years of Innocent Orji’s freedom to force the release of these members of BNG who committed no known crimes under any local and international laws. The commander of BNG did all that was within and outside his powers with monumental sacrifices to force the freedom of our members. General Innocent Orji singlehandedly funded the defence team; paid for publicity and everything needed to be paid while in detention and when he was released. He showed exemplary leadership worthy of emulation for history to judge.
“Today, unknown elements are claiming members of BNG are their members so as to use our members and enrich their pockets. With the anger of what we have lost, the years wasted and the pains of oppression; BNG will devastatingly strike anyone that dares to use members of BNG to play money politics.
“BNG is therefore warning agents meeting and consulting politicians for compensation of our members. It is crucial to also categorically state that BNG has nothing to do with MASSOB or BIM-MASSOB and we will decisively deal with any group misleading or playing unhealthy politics with our members to enrich their pockets in the name of compensation.
“BNG is warning all politicians; within and outside Biafra to stay away from wrong channels if they truly want to work towards compensating our members. We don’t oppose the compensation of our members, but any compensation must go through C.I. Meze, our defence counsel who suffered for our members.
“Compensate is a post legal affair and the power of attorney given to C. I Mezie remains valid and puts him in the position of negotiation. BNG is not yet aware of any compensation and our defence counsel have not informed us about any compensation. BNG will vehemently deal with anyone found to use or using our members to organize a backdoor,” the BNG stated.