From Stanley Uzoaru,Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied claims by the military that it dislodged one of the camps belonging to its Eastern Security Network (ESN) at Lilu community in Anambra State.
Spokesman of the group, Emma Powerful, in a statement, yesterday, said what was destroyed was a criminal hideout earlier exposed by IPOB.
“We wish to reiterate that IPOB and ESN operatives have no camp in Lilu in Ihiala LGA of Anambra State. We are not militants and criminals and don’t need any camp in Ihiala LGA. We are identifiable and we are all over Biafraland and IPOB branches in the Diaspora. Nigeria security agencies are using the hatred they have on the people of Biafra, particularly IPOB and ESN members, to unleash cruelty on the people living in these communities where they suspect that criminals are taking refuge.
“If criminals take refuge in any community in Biafraland, that doesn’t make them IPOB members or ESN operatives. We have also not said there are no more criminal gangs in Biafraland, just like every other country, even in the advanced Western nations. But we won’t accept the tagging of every criminal element found in Biafra as IPOB member or ESN operative.”
Powerful said the criminals were already mentioned by IPOB leadership during a broadcast as unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens in some communities. He said they were the creation of politicians and vowed to collaborate with vigilantes of the affected communities to smoke them out.
He said in Orsumoghu, Nnewi South, Lilu Orsumenyi of Ihiala LGA of Anambra State, criminals were impersonating ESN/IPOB members and using ESN name to commit crimes against the people.
“It is therefore, wicked and annoying that the Nigeria Army, police and DSS will keep dishing out falsehood against IPOB and ESN by claiming that these criminals when arrested are IPOB and ESN members. The so-called camp where these said criminals were arrested does not belong to ESN. They should stop lying against us,” Powerful said.