From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied the speculations making the rounds by the people and security agencies that they are the controversial ‘unknown gunmen’.
IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, in a statement, yesterday, also denied the claim by the security forces that its group has, so far, killed 128 security personnel in Imo State.
Powerful noted that the statement by the security chiefs in the State was not only fabricated, but ridiculous and untenable.
“How could IPOB that is not armed kill as many as 128 security personnel in one state. What an illogical and ridiculous claim. This is nothing but one of the antics of our oppressors to tarnish our global reputation and whip up public sympathy. They also want to use it as a smokescreen to justify their further crackdown on IPOB and its members,” Powerful claimed.
He continued: “It will be necessary, again, to clarify that IPOB is not and should not be taken for ‘unknown gunmen’ that have been reportedly having issues with security agencies in parts of the country, especially the defunct Eastern Nigeria. IPOB should not be held responsible for the activities of a group not commissioned by us.
“Importantly, the Eastern Security Network set up in December 2020 has no relationship, whatsoever, with the unknown gunmen. ESN was a child of circumstance established to resist the killer herdsmen rampaging our communities. ESN operatives are in the forests where they are keeping their appointments with those invading our ancestral land.
“We, therefore, wish to tell the world that neither IPOB nor ESN is involved in any attack against security personnel in Imo or any part of the country. The Nigerian Army and other security agencies are only desperately looking for how to incriminate IPOB and ESN, to justify their continued extra-judicial killings of our members.”
The group, however, restated that IPOB did not kill any security personnel in Imo or any state.