The outlawed Igbo secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has once again, distanced itself from kidnappings, killings, arson and other forms of criminality going on in the South-East, saying the group and its militia arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), can never involve itself in such nefarious acts.
While reacting to Saturday’s abduction of some Fulani herdsmen by gunmen in Anambra State, IPOB, in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said the “perpetrators of the killings, abduction, and burning of properties belonging to Biafrans and Igbos in the South-East are criminals recruited by enemies bent on demonizing us.”
The group insisted that those behind the atrocities are neither IPOB members nor ESN operatives as being insinuated by “detractors”.
In the statement made available to Ripples Nigeria on Sunday morning, Powerful said that no IPOB or ESN member will engage in acts inimical to the very people it is struggling to liberate.
“We are not terrorists and we cannot suddenly resort to terrorism,” he said.
“These agents of darkness behind these senseless and barbaric acts are the ones who don’t want our detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to be released. Their intension is to create the false impression that his followers are violent but they are wrong.
“We want to make it categorically clear to all and sundry that anybody committing any atrocity in Biafraland in the name of IPOB or ESN operative doesn’t want Biafra to come.
“Those behind this madness are working with the Nigeria security to criminalize IPOB. They must also be prepared to pay for their sins because we will not allow anyone who inflicts pains and sorrow on our people to go free.
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“We want to also very strongly condemn any attack on non-Biafran nationals living in our land. These agents of sorrow may be targeting them to further rope us into genocidal attacks which we have always stood against.
“Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu had predicted what is happening during his numerous prophetic radio broadcasts. During those broadcasts, he had also spoken against attacks on non-indigenes.
“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu made holistic announcement during those days that Hausas were facing the same predicaments Igbo people are facing in Nigeria and should be allowed to do business anywhere they like in Biafraland.”
The statement added that IPOB will never try to harm any Hausa man or woman in Biafra land for any reason, and will ensure the protection of all persons living in Biafra land including non-indigenes.
“We will continue to protect them against our common enemy, the jihadists and their sponsors.”