The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said persons killed by the Nigerian army in Lilu area of Anambra state are not members of the secessionist group.
IPOB said it has no camp in Lilu,Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, where soldiers revelled in Tuesday that it killed suspected operatives of the group.
The Nigerian Army Public Relations Officer, Brigadier General Nwachukwu had in a statement on Tuesday said it dislodged a notorious stronghold of IPOB and its armed affiliate, Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the area, in a joint operation.
But denying the claims by the Army, the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful in a press statement said the group had no camp in the area.
Powerful accused the Army of criminal misrepresentation of facts against IPOB and ESN claiming that arrested criminals were ESN members.
The 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.”