The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Saturday described the news of the killing of a police officer during Friday’s peaceful march embarked on by its members in Nnewi, Nnewi North Local Government area of Anambra State, as false.
Recall that the group had gathered at the popular Nkwo Market Nnewi arena carrying Biafran flags to celebrate the reappearance of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in faraway Israel.
The gathering, which drew the attention of security operatives, in no time, snowballed into a sort of fracas.
Subsequently, the State Police Command released a statement saying that one of its officers was killed in the ensuing fracas, adding that a police vehicle was also damaged, and two weapons snatched.
Reacting to the media report, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, in a statement made available to journalists in Awka, exonerated IPOB of indulging in any form of violence.
He said that the group is firmly rooted in the principles of peaceful agitation no matter the level of provocation.
He regretted that some media houses have allowed themselves to be used as a tool for the propagation of falsehood against IPOB.
The statement reads in part: “It is on record that since the formation and inception of IPOB ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, it has never indulged in any violence or crime of any sort no matter the level of provocation from Nigerian Government and her security agencies.
“IPOB is firmly rooted in the principles of peaceful agitation no matter the level of provocation but, the current Nigerian Government and her controllers are fighting seriously hard to change it.
“However, it is shocking and baffling that people in government have decided to use some media houses to propagate false information and lies against IPOB activities not minding that we have remained peaceful and civil in every of our outing and conduct especially the recent ‘no election’ evangelism that happened in Nnewi Anambra State.
“Nigeria Government and her security agencies through their various spokespersons have chosen to peddles lies against a world recognised and peaceful organisation.
“The Nigerian Police Force, Anambra State command are in the habit of feeding half-baked lies to media houses in a desperate bid to tarnish our image before the international community.”
The statement explained that what happened in Nnewi “is another example of a lawless police organisation intent on causing trouble.”
It decried a situation where the police authority that is meant to investigate incidents before rushing to conclusion, will instead be dishing false information to newspaper houses without verifiable evidence.
The statement adds: “The whole world knows that some significant proportion of Nigerians, especially their security personnel, are unrepentant liars. IPOB has never involved itself in any form of lawlessness and we remain committed towards restoring Biafra sovereignty through peaceful and democratic process which is referendum.
“Nigerian police and their army have chosen to launch numerous unprovoked attacks against IPOB which have led to countless loss of life on the part of IPOB in the past.
Nigerian government should thank their lucky stars that our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is a peaceful man otherwise the whole Biafraland will be ablaze by now.
“After hiding a policeman in the sewer, Anambra police authority had the temerity to lie by claiming IPOB killed a police officer when the said officer was hiding inside the gutter.
“It was the police that raced to the venue of a peaceful march uninvited and as usual started shooting and attacking IPOB family members who were on a peaceful rally in commemoration of our leader’s reappearance in Jerusalem.
“The pictures accompanying this brief statement shows clearly that the stage managed fake death of this police officer never occurred. IPOB did not snatch any police rifle of any sort because we are not a violent organisation.
“If the police ever arrested any person as they are claiming, it is only because they are used to kidnapping people and picking them up without trial in the hope of extorting money from poor families.”
“We are pleased to announce that no member of IPOB that participated in the peaceful protest is missing. The police should release innocent citizens they rounded up, if at all they have some people in their custody as they claimed.”