The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has maintained that those enforcing sit-at-home in the South East are not members of the group, but dissidents working against Biafra agenda.
IPOB, in a statement issued yesterday by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, also claimed that the aim of the hoodlums and their sponsors was to kill the youths and depopulate Igbo land.
The group has also denied reports that the six suspects killed by the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Monday, while attempting to attack the palace of the Imo State chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, are its members.
“We wish to remind them that those they killed in Iheoma and Amaifeke in Orlu were not IPOB members or ESN operatives, because IPOB volunteers don’t enforce non-existent Monday sit-at-home.
“It’s not in doubt that IPOB issued Monday a sit-at-home order to solidarise with our leader, but upon pleas by our mothers and elders, based on its adverse effects on the economy of our people, we quickly rescinded it.
“Anyone still enforcing Monday sit-at-home is not a genuine IPOB member, but a dissident and doesn’t deserve any mercy.
“We have severally threatened to deal with these dissidents giving us bad names. So, we even commend security agencies for dealing with such hoodlums in the manner they deserve because of their stubbornness.
“IPOB is a disciplined and responsible movement. We don’t know where such hoodlums are coming from and what agenda they are pursuing, but certainly not the Biafra agenda.
“We, therefore, ask the security agencies to stop referring to such dissidents as IPOB members because they don’t belong to us. The security agencies should stop associating us with criminals that have no connections, whatsoever, with IPOB. We equally advise them to be professional in dealing with such characters, so that innocent citizens are not caught in the crossfire.
“It should be noted that IPOB volunteers are not in the market or streets; they know their duty posts – in the bushes and forests of Biafra land protecting our farmlands from the Fulani terrorists masquerading as herdsmen in our territory.
“It’s unfortunate that the Nigeria security agencies are turning the truth upside down because they want the public to believe they are working hard, while, in reality, they are pursuing an Islamist agenda. They kill innocent citizens on the streets and tag them IPOB members and ESN operatives.
“Nigeria army should leave the people of Orlu in peace and allow them go about their daily business and focus on the terrorists and bandits in the North, where killings are the order of the day,” Powerful stated.
Powerful, however, enjoined stakeholders in the South East region to come together and fight “these criminals trying to blackmail and demonise IPOB. We don’t know them and have absolutely nothing to do with them.
“These criminals are kidnapping, snatching cars and killing innocent citizens, claiming they are IPOB and ESN members, while they are not. They deserve no mercy. They are not worthy to live. Whoever is sponsoring them should be brought to book,” he said.