There are strong indications that the Federal Government has placed some prominent personalities under watch, as part of national security measures. New Telegraph’s investigation revealed that the government is concerned about threats of secession from some regional groups, particularly the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as well as activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
Highly placed sources, who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph, said there is suspicion in military and security circles that some prominent individuals may be sponsoring the agitations, which constitute threats to the unity and corporate existence of the country. While the IPOB and MASSOB groups continue to agitate for the State of Biafra, the NDA had carried out series of bombings of oil and gas installations in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Apart from the NDA, there is also the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), whose members had claimed responsibility for several attacks on crude oil facilities, including some delivery lines operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). According to the sources, the “boldness” with which some of these agitating groups demonstrate, raises the suspicion that they may be drawing sponsorship from “powerful forces within and outside the country.”
New Telegraph was informed that security operatives had stumbled on millions of dollars and pounds in bank accounts of a leader of one of the groups calling for secession. The discovery was said to have shocked the authorities concerned, given that “the young man in question could not have earned anything close to that, in real sense.”A senior military source confirmed to our correspondent that some prominent Nigerians, suspected of having links with these agitators, are under security watch.
According to him, “You see, there is no responsible government that will fold its arms and let things like this continue. “Part of the responsibility of government is to prevent and tackle possible threats to national security.
“You think it is not important that we investigate who may be supporting and funding some of these groups?” It was further learnt that a recent call by two retired Generals for the renaming of the region’s day, had come under serious scrutiny.
“We are concerned that some prominent Nigerians, who had served our dear country at very high levels, will promote the idea of renaming their people’s day to what is apparently suggestive. “What is clear to us here, is that nothing and nobody will be allowed to cause the break-up of Nigeria.
“We will defend the oneness, indivisibility, and sovereignty of the country; we have that sacred mandate to champion that.” A senior officer also maintained that “these agitations we are talking about, are politically-motivated, and we will not allow anything that will jeopardise the unity and corporate existence of our beloved country.”
Multiple sources told New Telegraph that security agencies, especially the military and Department of State Services (DSS), are working on findings that some highly placed Nigerians have been supporting these dissident groups.
One of the sources stated that some of the militants arrested so far have made confessions that “indicted some highly-placed people.” The security agencies, according to the source, are tracing the sources of funding and arms of secessionist groups – MASSOB and IPOB – and militants.