The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has refuted claims that it was involved in the killing of an Anglican priest, Rev. Emeka Merenu on Tuesday.
Some unknown gunmen attacked and killed Merenu in his vicarage in Ihiteukwa, Orsu local government area of Imo State during the IPOB’s sit-at-home exercise in commemoration of the killing of its members at Nnamdi Kanu’s residence in 2017.
The assailants after killing the cleric also burnt his car.
Reacting on Thursday, IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful in a statement, said the group had nothing to do with his death.
It accused Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma of knowing the killers, adding that he has the capacity to investigate the gruesome killing of the Anglican priest as he did after the killing of Ahmad Gulak, a former presidential aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The statement was obtained by SaharaReporters on Thursday and it partly read, “IPOB has nothing to do with such barbarity. Anyone pointing accusing fingers at IPOB for such a dastardly act is only doing so to demonise IPOB. We don't kill let alone a priest is not part of our mandate.
“It makes no sense to associate IPOB which is a peaceful movement with such carnivorous behaviour. It will be unfair for people to finger IPOB for crimes committed by the government hoodlums most times sponsored by security agencies and enemies to portray us in the bad light.
“IPOB as a responsible organisation has respect for the sanctity of human lives. We have no hands whatsoever in such killing.
“Hope Uzodinma was aware of those created by his fellow politicians, his government and security agencies in Imo State but it has turned against them and it will remain so till the end of Nigeria because they invited what is killing them. They must stop linking IPOB and ESN with the monster they created.
“Let Hope Uzodinma and his fellow traitors leave IPOB and ESN alone and face the consequences of what they brought in our territory. We are sure Hope Uzodinma knows those who terminated the innocent priest.”
IPOB urged the governor to investigate the killing of the priest like he “investigated the killing of Alhaji Gulak Ahmed” who was killed in Imo.
The secessionist group also disclosed that it has created a Task Force to deal with hoodlums enforcing sit-at-home order in the South East to perpetrate evil.
It further stated that its members and supporters should reject any information not from the spokesperson for the group, adding that it has suspended the sit-at-home exercise on Mondays.
The statement read further, “We have since suspended sit-at-home on Mondays and no other sit-at-home order on Friday but some miscreants living in Europe claiming what they are not, sponsored by overzealous politicians to destroy Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB are working with the security agencies to ensure that they succeed in torturing innocent Biafrans in the name of enforcing a non-existent sit-at-home. We have set up a task force to deal with such hooligans.
“My fellow Biafrans, there is no crack in IPOB and there is no sit-at-home order again this week until the day our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will appear in court and our people must disregard any statement that is not from our media and publicity secretary Emma Powerful, our intention is different from those agents making statements on IPOB order but they will soon regret their actions.
“IPOB is not going to order sit-at-home on Friday again because our people have suffered a lot but agent of darkness living in Europe thinks he can succeed but it's little time he will realize that we are smarter and intelligent than him. Our people should go their normal business on Friday there is no more sitting at home order from IPOB.
“It is not in our DNA to kill the ordained priest who was not in any way working against Biafran restoration. We want to make it categorically clear that Nigeria security agencies created unknown gunmen which are select Fulani terrorists operating in the name of unknown gunmen.”