By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, told the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police and their sister security agencies to desist from linking IPOB and Eastern Security Network, ESN, with the insecurity going on in the southeast, particularly the criminal activities going on in Ukpor Nnewi and other towns in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
While IPOB is happy that the criminals perpetrating all manner of crimes including the “abominable act of beheading people” in the area are being dealt with by the Nigeria Army and other security agencies, it warned against the Army going from house to house to victimize and incriminate innocent people claiming that they are members of IPOB and ESN.
IPOB categorically stated that none of its members or ESN operatives are part of the condemnable acts of criminality going on in Ukpor and other towns in Nnewi South and Anambra State in general and therefore urged the Army and security agencies to do their professional duties well and never to incriminate or victimize innocent people for belonging or sympathizing with IPOB.
A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled “Soldiers deployed in Ukpor, Nnewi South Local Government Area, must apply professionalism and decorum in dealing with criminals there.” expressed dissatisfaction that the Nigerian Army has started linking IPOB and ESN, with the criminal activities going on in that council area.
IPOB statement read: “We, the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, wish to state unequivocally that the Nigeria Army and its sister security agencies have continued accusing ESN and IPOB volunteers of being responsible for criminalities in Ukpor Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.”
“We want to openly remind Nigeria Army, Police and DSS agents recently deployed in Ukpor Nnewi South LGA that IPOB and ESN operatives are not responsible for the atrocities happening in the area.”
IPOB had in the past visited the area and Orlu areas in Imo State close to the LGA, to chase away those criminals operating in and around that area because we abhor criminal activities. We even listed the names and phone numbers of the criminals, their leaders and financiers and we, therefore, wonder, why the Nigerian military has turned around to link us with the abominable criminals.
“We want to equally state that those being arrested and killed by the Nigerian security agencies are not IPOB members or ESN operatives. All we demand is that they should avoid killing innocent people and linking them with groups that they do not belong all because they are Igbo.
“What we are saying is that the Nigerian Army and security agents should apply professionalism in their duties because arresting and killing innocent citizens of the area will not help them. Instead, it will destroy and ridicule the good work of ensuring security there and in the state.”
“Those they arrested and killed are not IPOB members because IPOB members are professionally trained security operatives, not criminals terrorising the peaceful communities in Anambra State and some part of Orlu of Imo State.”
“Like we raised the alarm earlier over criminal activities going on around Nnewi South and their neighbouring Orlu communities, mentioned the perpetrators and their phone number before their recent criminal activities which the Army and other security agencies are now fighting, we equally urge the military to beam their searchlight to Onitsha and its environs which criminals operating on tricycle are trying to take over by robbing hundreds of people on money phones and other belonging on daily basis.
“We equally urge Nigeria soldiers deployed in Ukpor Nnewi South LGA to stop going house to house searching for innocent people and tagged them ESN, we warn that it will backfire on the good job they are doing to ensure security and we cannot afford to accept. We urge them to rather tackle the criminals and their collaborators but must stop going to people’s house to house searching and linking them to be IPOBs. Soldiers should conduct themselves properly and apply professionalism and decorum in their duties, that is all we demand.
The desperation to demonize IPOB and ESN operatives should not be part of the good security jobs they are doing, and it cannot work for them because the public understands how IPOB operates since we started operations. Arresting innocent people and parade them as ESN operatives or IPOB cannot make them to be honest and truthful in their duties, and people will not like or take them as doing the right thing for them because they know that they are compromising against Ndigbo.
“While we demand that there should not be any place or safe grounds in Igbo land for criminals, and support the security agents to fight them until they are swept off in Southeast because we actually detest criminalities going-on in the Eastern region, we, however, won’t take killing or slaughtering of our people unjustly, IPOB will never succumb to their blackmail and numerous media propaganda because we demand sanity in the discharge of their duties.
“IPOB first started to fight those criminals suffering our people there and we are still ready gathering their data and will confront and arrest them any time any day. We are aware that Nigeria Government created and sponsored them to terrorise our land, so they can destroy IPOB name in the region, that we will not take, and it won’t work for them.
“The Nigeria Army should know who is who to slaughter in their operations because IPOB doesn’t involve in criminalities or atrocities in our homeland, what we are after is restoration of Biafra, we have come a long way not to stop nor be distracted with their blackmail and media propaganda.”