A recently published in-depth investigative report has revealed that there is more to the newly inaugurated Biafra Secret Service (BSS), than meets the eye.
The investigation which was carried out by Daily Trust, revealed that the idea to form the group was conceived immediately the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was released from jail.
Even though the group has stated that it will employ a non-violent approach to achieve its goals, the report shows that the members of the group are also prepared to respond otherwise.
At a drill session held at Kanu’s home, one of the group’s commanders, Mr. Aguoche Obidike, was allegedly heard saying, “We are Biafra Secret Service men that have volunteered to defend Biafran land.
“Like our leader will rightly say, we are here to restore Biafra.
“We have come in peace but if the option given to us to restore Biafra is violent, without fear, the men and women are ready to take the land of Biafra from invaders and looters.”
The investigation unearthed how the group has a dual purpose of protection and investigation.
While charged with the responsibility of protecting Nnamdi Kanu, the group also investigates ‘criminal activities’ like plans of sabotage against IPOB.
It was further revealed that BSS members are selected based on qualifications from diverse backgrounds of individuals based in ‘Biafra land’ and all over the world.
The recruiters reportedly look out for people who can speak foreign languages.
According to a source, “This requires that the applicant should be able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social and professional topics.
“At the completion of all required training and graduation from the BSS training program, the graduating students would be posted to various offices while the best graduating student would be given an honorary award.”
A recruitment advert seen by the investigative reporter stated the following: “Candidates must be Biafra citizens and must submit to urinalysis screening for illegal drug use prior to appointment.
“All Secret Service positions require a Top Secret security clearance.
“All applicants must undergo a full, Secret Service-specific, Top Secret clearance process regardless of who you are; certain positions may also require the applicant to successfully complete OATH of trust and medical examination.
“Age, vision and excellent physical condition requirements may also apply and more.”
The advert reportedly bears no provisions for passport photos and identification cards are not issued to the successful recruits.
A member of the group who joined from Rivers state, Nelson Madu, stated: “Before you talk about joining the Service, you must be an IPOB member and you must believe in all its tenets and principles.
“You must be an able-bodied man or woman and be ready to render selfless service to Biafra-land.
“You must be loyal to our leader and be ready to obey your superiors.”
On the issue of payment, the investigation revealed that salaries are paid out based on ranks. This is despite the fact that the service rendered by members ought to be voluntary.
Junior officers are reportedly paid N10, 000, while senior officers receive between N25,000 to N30,000 monthly.
One member of the group, a certain Obidike Bright, however disclosed that BSS activities are funded using the N500 monthly dues contributed by members of the outfit.
To receive a pair of uniforms which consist of a red beret, a pair of black shoes, white belt, black trousers, mostly jeans and customized polo, members are charged N1,000.
Others allege that the group is funded by foreigners.
BSS members are usually seen crowding around various newspaper stands, trying to convince people to support the IPOB agitation.
They are also allegedly positioned strategically at various ‘security checkpoints’ to restrict movement of people.
The group’s members take day and night shifts; during which, different dishes are reportedly cooked and served.
Under a condition of anonymity, a member of the group stated: “Members were placed under oath not to divulge information about the organization to any member of the Zoo community (Nigeria).
”Nnamdi Kanu who is the leader of the Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra (IPOB), said that he set up the Biafra Secret Service so as to provide security for Igbos set up the Biafra Secret Service people.
Kanu spoke shortly after his visit to Senator Enyinna Abaribe in Abia on Tuesday, August 22.
The Biafra leader claimed the federal government had failed to protect the people, which was why he set up a secret service to do so.