From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu and Okey Sampson, Aba
APEX Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday berated the Department of State Security (DSS) over its allegation that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was responsible for the killing of five Fulani herdsmen and 50 other unidentified persons whose bodies were found in shallow graves in a forest in Isikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State.
Ohanaeze, in a statement signed by its President General, Chief Gary Enwo- Igariwey, said “Ndigbo are curious and very suspicious of the reasons behind the DSS statement, which indicted IPOB as responsible for the act.”
He said Ohanaeze condemned, in very strong terms, such explosive statement from a government security outfit.
“Such statements are very unprofessional and capable of inciting the polity and endangering our unity.
“We urge Ndigbo to continue to live in peace with fellow Nigerians and resist any action that will breach peace in the country.”
He said Ohanaeze was aware that both IPOB and MASSOB had robustly denied their involvement in the act.
“We are further aware that the Governor of Abia State, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state said the security organisations in his state, including the DSS were unaware of the discovery as it had not been reported to the State Security Council, which he is the chairman.
“The governors of Abia and Imo states, at a joint press briefing on Monday April 11, condemned the act and attributed it to kidnappers and criminal elements,” he pointed out.
Igariwey noted that Ndigbo always condemn the act of taking human life in any form anywhere in the country.
He also noted that the Igbo as travellers to other places are friendly to visitors and would not endanger lives of other visitors.
“All Nigerians are, therefore, assured of their safety in anywhere in Igbo land. Ndigbo commiserate with the families of the deceased and have conveyed same to the leadership of Arewa Consultative Forum,” he said.
The Ohanaeze president general, therefore, called for proper investigation into the matter to ascertain those behind the heinous act, saying those who committed the act did not act on behalf of Ndigbo and should be brought to book.
Meanwhile, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Abia chapter has accused DSS of unprofessionalism in the way it handled the alleged killing and for the hasty manner it held members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) responsible.
In a statement signed by the chairman of the party in the state, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, APGA berated the security outfit for not exhibiting the best form of professionalism in handling the issue which he said was capable of creating disaffection and breakdown of law and order.
The party said it was shocked at the attempt by the DSS to link IPOB with the alleged murder of five herdsmen in Abia.