The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to the accusation by the Nigerian government that its militia arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN) killed and decapitated three policemen.
The Igbo separatist group said the enemies of its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who did not want him to regain his freedom, were behind the death of the security agents to implicate him.
IPOB stated these in a release reacting to accusations by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, that ESN operatives assassinated the policemen.
The minister had listed the victims as ASP Francis Idoko (AP No. 154945); Inspector Emmanuel Akubo (AP No.222336) and Inspector Rufai Adamu (AP. No. 285009).
But, in a statement by IPOB’s media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, which was made available to SaharaReporters on Tuesday, the group said it was a "spurious allegation by the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed that we are responsible for the beheading of security agents in a viral video being circulated."
It stated further, "that IPOB and ESN are a disciplined freedom movement and security outfit respectively and therefore such barbarity as seen on the said video is not, has never been and will never be part of our modus operandi.
"The perpetrators of such barbarism are neither IPOB nor ESN operatives. IPOB has remained a non-violent movement since inception.
"The Nigeria security agencies namely The Nigerian Police, The DSS, and The Nigerian Army in collaboration with Hope Uzodinma and David Umahi, governors of Imo State and Ebonyi State respectively are the ones recruiting and arming hoodlums to perpetrate atrocities across Biafra land with the single objective to implicate and demonise IPOB.
"They are the brains behind the violence taking place in Biafraland and they have set up armed groups across Biafraland for this single objective to portray the ESN in a bad light.
"We must not forget that since the international community rebuffed the Nigerian government's request to designate IPOB as a terror group, they have been looking for ways to justify their demand and this is just a part of their clandestine plans to tarnish the image of IPOB and the ESN.
"ESN's mandate is to resist terrorists and jihadists invading our ancestral land and destroying our crops and raping our sisters and mothers. IPOB members are not killers but freedom fighters struggling for the peaceful restoration of the Independent state of Biafra.”