From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has distanced itself from the alleged attacks against security agents in ‘Biafra land’.
IPOB which made the rebuttal in a press statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, dismissed those linking it with the “purported attacks” as propaganda tools and “amorphous groups hired by government to blackmail IPOB.”
The rebuttal is coming on the heels of a media statement by a group known as Igbos in Nigeria Movement (INM) which condemned the alleged “killing of soldiers and the growing spate of violence in South East”, pointing accusing fingers at IPOB.
INM had in a statement signed by its President, Mazi Ifeanyi Igwe, called for an action against IPOB which it accused of stoking trouble for the Igbo race.
IPOB in a swift reaction dismissed INM as a non-existent group created by security agencies to blackmail Biafra agitators.
It said there were no iota of truth in the allegation and urged members of the public to disregard it.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the wild and spurious allegations against IPOB by some amorphous groups including the non -existent Igbo Nigeria Movement (INM) and similar faceless groups recruited by the government to blackmail a peaceful movement.
“These hirelings have been going about making untenable allegations and defamatory media remarks scripted by their paymasters against IPOB.
“Their latest lie is the allegation that IPOB is responsible for the purported attacks on security operatives in South East and South South. We find it amusing how these unscrupulous elements without any contact address would think they can come to limelight via untenable allegations against a globally recognized peaceful group like IPOB.
“We knew when and how government recruited them to launch verbal attack against IPOB and its Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. But we want to inform them that IPOB is properly rooted and cannot be moved by false allegation and propaganda.
“These irritants have sustained their unwarranted attacks on IPOB through fabricated and blatant lies, and cheap propaganda to impress their pay masters.
“Assuming but not conceding to this blatant falsehood : How can an unarmed man attack a fully armed security agent and escape unhurt? Doesn’t it sound funny? What a shameful allegation!
“We know their aim: to discredit IPOB before the international community which is now interested in the matters we have raised concerning the atrocities perpetrated in Nigeria by this evil government.
“Ordinarily we wouldn’t have bothered to dignify these detractors with a response as we have since known their stock in trade, but for the sake of the gullible ones and some innocent minds.”
The pro -Biafra movement denied involvement in any attack against security posts in Biafra land, insisting that it has not compromised its non-violent posture and philosophy in actualising Biafra.
“There is no iota of truth in this fictitious claim. IPOB is not responsible for any attack against any security agent.”
IPOB, therefore, warned all those involved in propaganda to desist immediately or brace up for the consequences of their blackmail.
“We want to sound a note of warning to these hirings especially the purported INM peddling lies against IPOB to desist forthwith or be ready for the consequences of their blackmail against innocent people.
“Unfortunately for them the era of propaganda and cheap blackmail is gone. Frivolous and concocted allegations designed by government to blackmail IPOB can no longer stand.
“The world now knows better. IPOB’s non-violent ideology about the Biafra project is well known and cannot change. But the inalienable right of the oppressed to defend himself against the oppressor is not illegitimate.
IPOB said it had no intention to go into arms struggle, but should it decide otherwise, it would not be a secret affair, adding that it’s insulting to think that Biafra can be defended with stolen weapons from security personnel.
“We are not armed and have no plans to pick up arms. But should we decide to go into arms struggle which is not an option on the table, it will not be a secret affair. We won’t depend on arms collected from any security agent to defend Biafra. That is childish and an insult to IPOB.”
The movement said its major preoccupation is peaceful restoration of Biafra which it lamented, was lumped together with Nigeria by the colonial masters without the consent of the people.
“All we need is Biafra, our own country which has been in existence before Britain created Nigeria and unequally lumped us together with this murderous tribe that values cows above human lives.
“Marriage isn’t by force. We are tired of this bondage and want a referendum to determine our fate. Simple!”
IPOB decried what it called the continued harassment, home -to -home abduction and torture of its members some of whom it claimed were extra-judiciously executed.