The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has refuted claims by the Nigeria police that its members killed 128 security personnel in Imo State.
The group described as ‘ridiculous and untenable’ the statement by the Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Abudu Yaro that its members have killed 128 security personnel in the state.
According to the statement made available to SaharaReporters by IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful on Thursday, the allegation was fabricated by IPOB’s enemies to further tarnish the image of the Nnamdi Kanu-led separatist group.
IPOB reiterated that it cannot answer to the appellation ‘unknown gunmen’ because the world knows that it is a pro-Biafra group with peaceful activities.
“The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the fallacious and fabricated statements credited to the Commander, 34 Field Artillery Brigade Obinze, Gen. Raymond Utasaha, and Police Commissioner Imo State, Alhaji Abudu Yaro, that IPOB killed 128 security personnel in Imo State.
“The above statement is not only fabricated but ridiculous and untenable. How could IPOB that is not armed be able to kill as many as 128 security personnel in one state? What an illogical and ridiculous claim!
“This is nothing but one of the antics of our oppressors to tarnish our global reputation and whip up public sympathy. They also want to use it as a smokescreen to justify their further crackdown on IPOB and its members.
“We, therefore, wish to declare for the records that IPOB did not kill any security personnel in Imo or any state for that matter. IPOB since its inception has remained a peaceful movement with the sole mandate of restoring Biafra.
“We have not changed our non-violent philosophy for the restoration of Biafra. If for any reason we need to change our peaceful approach, we shall make the same public but for now, we have not gone into an arms struggle, and don’t intend to.
“It will be necessary again to clarify that IPOB is not, and should not be taken for ‘Unknown gunmen’ that have been reportedly having issues with security agencies in parts of the country, especially the defunct Eastern Nigeria. IPOB should not be held responsible for the activities of a group not commissioned by us,” the statement partly read.
In the statement titled, ‘Claims By Imo CP That IPOB Killed 128 Security Personnel, Malicious Falsehood Meant To Blackmail Us – IPOB’, the group repeated that its agitations do not involve the acquisition of arms.
IPOB also stated that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) outfit was designed last year to combat the murderous Fulani herders killing people in the South-East.
It said ESN men operate in the forests and cannot be held responsible for the killing of security agents in the cities.
“Importantly, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up in December 2020 has no relationship whatsoever with the unknown gunmen. ESN was a child of circumstance established to resist the killer herdsmen rampaging our communities. ESN operatives are in the forests where they are keeping their appointments with those invading our ancestral land.
“We, therefore, wish to tell the world that neither IPOB nor ESN is involved in any attack against security personnel in Imo or any part of the country. The Nigerian Army and other security agencies are only desperately looking for how to incriminate IPOB and ESN to justify their continued extra-judicial killing of our members.
“The world should prevail on the Nigerian security agencies to stop the ongoing house to house abductions of innocent youths in Biafra land who they label as unknown gunmen and later kill without trial. This atrocity must stop!” The statement read.