From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has rebuffed claim by the Department of State Security (DSS) that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) is plotting to attack banks in part of the South East.
In a statement by the group’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, it said ESN does not need to rob any bank to buy arms for the security outfit, boasting rather that the arms could be manufactured locally.
According to the DSS, the ESN is plotting to attack banks to gather enough resources to purchase arms.
But IPOB, while denying the allegation, said DSS is spreading the propaganda to blackmail the group, adding they are the one sponsoring criminals and tagging it to be ESN.
Powerful said: “Our intelligence unit has uncovered a fabricated propaganda by the DSS that ESN is planning to attack banks in Biafra land to acquire money to purchase arms. DSS is propelling this wicked propaganda to blackmail ESN and IPOB, and dent our global reputation.
“We, therefore, wish to debunk this falsehood and blatant lie from the pit of hell. IPOB and ESN are not criminals and we have no plan or agenda to touch any institution, particularly banks.
“We are not looking for money to buy arms because we produce our arms locally and cannot attack or kidnap anybody for ransom. We don’t inflict pains on the people we are fighting for their freedom. DSS must stop this rubbish and engage their time on something more meaningful. This poor script cannot fly.
“IPOB and ESN are very disciplined groups, and we cannot indulge in armed robbery against any individual or group. ESN has never left its mandate which is to defend Biafra land against Fulani terrorists and killer herdsmen.
“All banks in Biafraland must be wary of DSS because it is possible they are planning to sponsor attacks on banks and turn around, as usual, to blame it on IPOB and ESN operatives. The double-faced Nigerian security agencies have been staging this kind of attacks in so many places and later point fingers at IPOB and ESN.
“They have tried to blame the attacks on security formations in South East on us but now, it is obvious, we are innocent of that, they have quickly changed tact in their desperation to blackmail us and find cheap excuse to declare another special military operation in the zone. Our people should be smart and not buy into their tricks,” Powerful said.
He warned anybody attempting to attack any bank in Igbo land to be prepared to face ESN.
He said: “We are waiting for any group of armed robbers who would attempt to attack any bank in Biafra land in attempt to tarnish the reputation of IPOB and ESN. Such band of criminals and their sponsors will regret their action.
“We assure every resident and institution, including banks in Biafra land of their safety.
“We will resist these criminals the DSS is arranging to attack banks in the name of ESN and IPOB.”