The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday condemned the alleged religious persecution, harassment and arrest of its members at Shalom Synagogue Church of Israel in Aba, Abia State.
The group said it was unfortunate that the Federal Government and its security operatives, especially the Department of State Services (DSS) and Police, have reduced themselves to playing the role of religious police. It said they have effectively constituted themselves as instruments with which enemies of Israel, within the corridors of power in Nigeria, are now using to suppress those who practice Judaism.
“It is on record that IPOB’s activities are firmly anchored on the finest Judeo-Christian traditions, which have made Biafrans and IPOB, in particular, the target of these state sponsored indiscriminate and arbitrary arrests of innocent civilians by agents of government. There has been repeated raids of synagogues and places of worship in Aba and Igweocha (Port Harcourt), respectively.
“Security operatives, whose constitutional role is to protect life and property, have now turned to instruments of opprssion against innocent civilians.
“Arresting members of Shalom Christian Church because they are connected to the Jews in Israel is religious discrimination of the worst kind. Every religion has a root and, inas much as nobody can deny that Saudi Arabia is the root of Islam, nobody can deny that Israel is the foundation of both Judaism and later Christianity. Discrimination based on religious affiliation to Israel is misplaced and a crime against the very principles of freedom of worship and association.
“Since President Donald Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, the wave of arbitrary arrests and persecution of Biafrans who practice Judaism in Aba and Igweocha (Port Harcourt) have dramatically increased. The government, by toeing this path, is setting an ugly and dangerous precedence. Those arrested for their faith must be released immediately, including all those illegally detained for expressing their legitimate views that they are better off in Biafra than Nigeria,” the group said.
“We want to bring it to the notice of the entire world what IPOB in particular and Biafrans are suffering in general in the hands of this administration. The world must therefore, prevail upon Nigeria to desist from this blatant religious persecution and release those in their custody. Members of the Shalom Synagogue of Israel in Aba did not commit any crime. They are a spiritual congregation merely being persecuted for their spiritual connection to the Holy land of Israel.
“It is the responsibility of the government and people of Israel as custodians of the Judaic faith to rise to this challenge, the same way Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries defend Muslim faithful all over the world.”