Senator Ben Murray-Bruce has come out strongly against the alleged killing of 11 pro-Biafran demonstrators by Nigerian police in Port Harcourt yesterday.
The demonstrators, who are reportedly members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), a group seeking the secession of the southeast of Nigeria from the rest of the country, organised a rally in support of the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president. Pro-Biafrans generally believe that Trump’s apparent antagonism towards Muslims and previous comments about “self determination” would make him sympathetic towards the Biafran cause.
In a tweet and further comments on his Facebook page yesterday, Murray-Bruce, who represents Bayelsa East, stated: “I strongly condemn the killing of unarmed IPOB members rallying for
@realDonaldTrump. I believe in one Nigeria. I also believe in human life”
“I strongly condemn the killing of unarmed IPOB members rallying for Donald J. Trump earlier today. I believe in one Nigeria. I also believe in human life. But even more importantly, I believe in the Nigerian Constitution that gives every Nigerian citizen a guaranteed right of assembly. This loss of lives should not be allowed to happen without the due process of the law kicking in. It must be investigated and the culprits brought to book. Human life in Nigeria must have value if Nigeria is ever to be valued as a great nation by her citizens”.
This has been the first response to yesterday’s shooting from a high profile Nigerian.
In November last year, Amnesty International claimed that Nigerian security forces have killed about 150 unarmed pro-Biafran protesters since October 2015.
No perpetrator of these crimes have been prosecuted and there hasn’t even been an attempt by the government to investigate the allegations.