The suspected leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Stanley Mgbere, who was declared wanted by the Rivers State Government for allegedly perpetrating violence in Onne, Eleme Local Government Area, has denied being a member of the proscribed group.
Governor Nyesom Wike had placed a N50m bounty on Mgbere’s head for anyone who could give any information that would lead to his arrest, saying he led IPOB members to cause violence in Onne.
But speaking from his hideout in a video posted on Facebook, Mgbere said the information given to the governor about him, which necessitated Wike’s action against him, was false.
He said though he was part of the #EndSARS protest in Onne, it was a peaceful one like what happened in other parts of the country, noting that he was a free-born from Onne.
He stated, “What happened in Onne was a peaceful protest and it was not done by only the community; it was done by Nigerians. But at the end, they said I am a member of IPOB. I am not a member of IPOB. I am a full indigene of Onne clan, which everybody knows.
“I am not aware of what they are saying and I am not aware of what they are telling the governor. Please, at this very moment, I am begging the governor not to listen to anything they are telling him because they are all lies.
“I beg on the masses and beg everybody to share this video because my hands are clean. I know what I am facing right now, but I will never give up. Thank you very much and God bless you all.”
Meanwhile, the police in Rivers State have said they arrested 21 suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra for allegedly attacking four police stations, during which three policemen were killed.
The Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, during a press briefing at the command headquarters in Port Harcourt on Monday, said the police, in collaboration with sister security agencies, had restored order in the worst hit Oyigbo Local Government Area and other places.
Mukan said, “It is with a heavy heart that I address you this afternoon on the recent attacks in the state, leading to the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
“They equally extended their attack to the Afam Police Station and burnt it down. In all, they burned down three police stations and vandalised one. Several vehicles were burnt and three policemen were hacked to death.
“On Saturday, October 24, I led other service commanders of sister security agencies for an on-the-spot assessment to the Oyigbo LGA and the adjoining area; consequently, deployments were made to forestall further breakdown of law and order, and as we speak, there is relative peace in the Oyigbo LGA.
“We will continue to closely monitor the area, because that axis has been discovered to be a stronghold of IPOB. Necessary measures have already been taken and by the grace of God, the IPOB stronghold will be finally dislodged.”
Mukan gave the names of the slain officers as Inspector Sunday Dubon, Sergeant Swawale Ornan and Sergeant Umunna Uchechukwu.
However, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, denied the group’s alleged involvement in the attack.