The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied the killing of any of its members or operatives of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Anambra State as recently claimed by the Nigerian Army.
The proscribed group said the Army killed innocent citizens and tagged them IPOB/ESN members in order to discredit the Biafra agitators.
The IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful who stated this on Wednesday added that the group has no hideout or stronghold in the Lilu forest of Anambra State as claimed by the Army, noting that its members are well-known people who don’t need any forest hideout.
He alleged that security operatives were taking out their hatred of the group against innocent residents of the southeast states.
Naija News recalls the Army spokesperson, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement on Tuesday said many fighters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who are members of the group’s armed unit, Eastern Security Network (ESN) were killed by troops of the Nigerian Army in a joint operation.
The IPOB fighters were killed during a gun battle with soldiers of the Nigerian Army and other security forces at Lilu Forest in Ihiala Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nwachukwu said.
The statement further revealed that several weapons and items including 10 Pump Action Shotguns, two locally fabricated guns, One Revolver pistol, rounds of 7.62 mm special, live cartridges, machetes and IPOB flags were recovered from the battle scene.
However, IPOB has now denied the development, saying it won’t allow security operatives to continue to tag their members as criminal elements.
The IPOB statement reads in part, “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 Biafra land 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 Biafra land, that doesn’t make them IPOB members or ESN operatives. We have also not said there are no more criminal gangs in Biafra land 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 an IPOB member or ESN operative.
“Recall that some of these criminals were already mentioned by IPOB leadership sometime during a broadcast. IPOB leadership said these criminals were unleashing mayhem on innocent citizens in some communities. Some of these hoodlums were a creation of wicked politicians in their desperation to discredit IPOB and ESN.”
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