The Indigenous People of Biafra have issued a statement denying any involvement in the killing of eight security personnel in Imo State.
The slain individuals, including soldiers, police officers, and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, were attacked and burned by the assailants.
IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, expressed that such violent acts were unnecessary to achieve Biafra’s freedom, stating that the Federal Government is aware of the culprits behind the attack.
They should not pretend to be unaware or act surprised because they are collaborating with the individuals responsible for the unnecessary attack to implicate IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu.”
According to Powerful, when IPOB initiated its campaign for separation in 2012, it was a peaceful movement “until the Federal Government started financing splinter groups to tarnish the image of IPOB and Kanu.”
“We have been warning for years about the sinister agenda of the Federal Government against IPOB’s peaceful protest, which is simply demanding a referendum for the people of Biafra to decide their own fate as Indigenous people,” Powerful stated.
The Federal Government, on the other hand, stated on Thursday that it is determined to apprehend the gunmen responsible for the killing
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, expressed his sadness over the incident and assured that the FG would spare no effort in apprehending the culprits.
He also conveyed the government’s condolences to the families of the deceased security agents. The Director of Press in the Ministry of Interior, Ajibola Afonja, quoted the minister as giving his word that the families of the victims would receive support and assistance.
Olubunmi-Ojo emphasized the tragedy of the incident in the Umualumaku community and acknowledged the sacrifices made by security officers in the line of duty.
“On the ministry’s behalf and on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, we are committed to honoring their memories and ensuring they are not forgotten.
“We will exert relentless efforts to thoroughly investigate this atrocious act and ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences of their actions.”
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a movement in Nigeria that seeks self-determination and aims to bring back the former Republic of Biafra, which separated from Nigeria during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970).
Since 2021, IPOB, along with other Biafran separatist groups, has been engaged in a low-level guerrilla conflict in the southeastern part of Nigeria against the Nigerian government.
The group was established in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu and Uche Mefor. Kanu is a British Nigerian political activist who is known for his advocacy of the present-day Biafran independence movement.
In 2017, the Nigerian government labeled IPOB as a terrorist organization under the Nigerian Terrorism Act. In May 2022, the United Kingdom began refusing asylum to IPOB members involved in human rights abuses; however, the U.K. government clarified that IPOB had not been officially recognized as a terrorist organization.