From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has responded to remarks by an Arewa group linking the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, to the separatists’ activities, accusing it of “igbophobia”.
IPOB spokesperson Emma Powerful, who responded to the claims, stressed that Obi’s silence or condemnation of their activities does not bother them because he belonged to the class of Nigerian elites and has his own objective.
“Clueless Arewa group mentioning Peter Obi’s name with the activities of IPOB shows that they’re suffering from what we called ‘Igbophobia’. Peter Obi belongs to the Nigerian elites his condemnation or silence on IPOB activities is none of our concerns,” Powerful stated.
“Did Alhaji Atiku Abubakar condemn the gruesome murder of Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto state last two months?,” he queried.
“Let it be crystal clear to Arewa group and whoever cares to listen that IPOB and Peter Obi with other Igbo politicians have parallel objectives and they have nothing to do with IPOB strategy and operations.”
Meanwhile, the group has claimed responsibility for dislodging bandits terrorising the neighbourhood of Lokpanta in Okigwe Local Government Area of the State on July,22.
The bandits, Powerful claimed, have been disguising as herdsmen in that area and causing harm to the people and travellers along that road.
“We commend the IPOB leadership who has seen what our people are passing through in the hands of these terrorists kidnapping for ransom, raping our mothers on farms, killing our men on their farms and snatching cars from all the travellers following the routes in Isiukwuato, Umunneochi, Isuochi and Okigwe since over two years but the government refused to heed to the crying of the citizens.”
While applauding the efforts of its security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN) for the effort Powerful, pointed out that they are not after genuine herdsmen but rather those killing and causing trouble in that area.
“IPOB hails them for doing the needful in that area, we are not pursuing responsible Fulanis not to do their legitimate business. But we are after those terrorists masquerading as herdsmen kidnapping and destroying our people’s lives and farmlands in that area.
“IPOB and ESN are responsible for the killing of cows encroaching into people’s farmlands. We also warn the Fulani terrorists not to venture to attack any community in the area as in their nature. If they attack any Community, that means Fulani will no longer be allowed to do business again in that market.
“IPOB advise all Fulanis in a legitimate business to ensure they stay within the designated areas assigned for them in the market. They must not exceed the square meters and measurements given to them in that market. If they do, they will have scores to settle with IPOB,” Powerful warned.