SAHARANEWS – The Federal Government may have sent warning signals to embassies and mission houses in Nigeria warning them that it would not tolerate a repeat of the Nuremberg, Germany harassment of former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, by men believed to be members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The molestation of Ekweremadu in Nuremberg by members of IPOB in Germany was initially believed to be a one off, minor incident by some miscreants.rubi
But with intelligence gathered by the country’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA), it became clearer that the incident was part of larger plan by the separatist group in building a coalition of Diaspora Nigerians across the United Kingdom (UK) with a view to having a ready squad of protesters needed to give muscular and robust picketing of Nigerian political office holders who set foot on foreign soil, especially in the UK and in other countries in Europe.
“Planning and funding from local politicians, Diaspora agitators are being channeled towards IPOB. There are also state and non-state actors involved in the matter and this is not making the Federal Government happy,” explained a top director of NIA to Sunday Independent.
Nigeria had previously accused France of being too casual about fund raising drive of IPOB. As previously stated, the Federal Government has been of the opinion that the financial headquarters of IPOB is in France.
“Crippling the recognition that was given to IPOB has been difficult because most of the funding are being done in the guise of people sending money to their loved ones in Nigeria which always ends in the hands of IPOB in the country, or are being sent abroad in the guise of school fees for their wards,” said our source.AdvertisementAdvertisement
There are beliefs in government circles too, that Israel, Iraq and Turkey may be involved in the tacit support of IPOB.
There are no clear explanations as to why there has been beliefs that aside Nigeria’s sub regional influence being resented, European Union connected countries feel that a Biafran Exit from Nigeria (Biafrexit) can only be proper of the UK plans its own Brexit.
Other reasons adduced to foriegn support of IPOB are not unconnected with alleged human right abuses against its agitators by the Federal Government.
An Amnesty International report, for instance, claimed that at least 150 people were killed by Nigerian security forces in the course of pro-Biafra protests between August 2015 and August 2016.
The Federal government is believed to have toughened its stance on IPOB in the sub region where it wields considerable influence.
The separatist group is believed to have a strong network of operatives in the sub region who are well grounded in infiltrating borders and smuggling routes.
Benin, the country’s West African neighbor, may have fallen in line with FG’s persuasions on this matter.
As exclusively gathered by Sunday Independent, the Benin security forces recently apprehended members of IPOB, in the West African country trying to hoist the Biafran flag.
While this development could not be verified from Benin Consul in Nigeria, sources in the NIA informed Sunday Independent that such arrest actually happened.
But with the recent attack on Ekweremadu, the Federal Government is believed to have renewed calls to embassies and foreign governments to treat activities of the group as that of terrorists.
As also learnt, the Federal Government is not too pleased with response of the Nuremberg police after the incident in Germany and has since sent dispatches to mission houses in the country reminding them that Nigeria intends to take very seriously, international charters that protect visiting office holders on foreign soil.
According to a news report earlier in the week, the Nigerian embassy in Germany mounted pressure on the German federal authorities to bring the attackers to justice following the initial reluctance of the state police to investigate the assault which was captured on video. The police had dismissed the episode as mere agitations and protest by citizens against its country’s political office holders.
But according to Yusuf Tuggar, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, the European country has an obligation to foreign government dignitaries visiting the country.
Under section 102 (1), chapter 3, of the German Criminal Code, attacks against organs and representatives of foreign states are punishable with fines and imprisonment.
It states, “(1) Whosoever commits an attack against the life or limb of a foreign head of state, member of a foreign government, the head of a foreign diplomatic mission who is accredited in the federal territory while the victim is in Germany in his official capacity shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine, in especially serious cases to imprisonment of not less than one year.
“(2) In addition to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months, the court may order the loss of the ability to hold public office to vote and be elected in public elections (section 45(2) and (5).”
But the Germans do not consider Ekweremadu’s case as qualifying as assault.