The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Thursday, distanced itself from the killing of eight security personnel by gunmen on Tuesday in the Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
The slain personnel, comprising soldiers, policemen, and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, were set ablaze by the hoodlums who attacked their patrol vans.
In a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, IPOB said, “Such reckless attacks and shedding of blood are not needed to achieve Biafra freedom in our territory.”
While distancing itself from the attack, IPOB claimed “the Federal Government knows those behind this latest attack on security personnel.
“They shouldn’t feign ignorance or claim to be surprised because they are working with the perpetrators of that unnecessary attack in order to blackmail IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu.”
Powerful claimed that when IPOB began its separatist agitation in 2012, its campaign was peaceful “until the Federal Government started sponsoring splinter groups in order to blackmail IPOB and Kanu.”
“Today, the monsters they have spoon-fed are consuming them. We in IPOB for years have been shouting about the evil plan of the Federal Government towards IPOB’s peaceful agitation, which is simply demanding for a referendum date for the Biafran people to determine their own fate as Indigenous people,” Powerful said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Thursday vowed to hunt down the gunmen behind the killing.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who described the incident as sad, vowed that the FG would stop at nothing to bring the perpetrators to book.
He also extended the government’s condolences to the families of the slain security agents.
The Director of Press in the Ministry of Interior, Ajibola Afonja, in a statement on Thursday, quoted the minister as promising that the families of the deceased would not be abandoned.
Olubunmi-Ojo said, “I am deeply saddened by the tragic incident in the Umualumaku community, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
“The loss of our security operatives is a tragedy. It was a dark Tuesday for us as our men died on the cause of duty. And that is why I keep saying our security officers are doing a thankless job.
“On behalf of the ministry, and on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, we will ensure that their memories are not forgotten.
“We will work tirelessly to investigate this heinous act and bring the perpetrators to justice.”