The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has denied earlier reports that it has resolved to resort to violence with the security agencies who have been killing their members during protest and prayer sessions.
In a statement issued yesterday in Nnewi by the IPOB Media and Publicity Officer, Mr. Emma Powerful, he said there was never a time IPOB threatened to resort to violence in its agitation for the release of its leader and Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra.
He said those who were quoting IPOB or any of its coordinators or spokespersons as saying so, were either trying to be mischievous or trying to paint a picture of IPOB being a violent group that will be tagged a terrorist group by the international community .
According to him, IPOB after the killing of their members in a prayer session in Aba, Abia State by security men and several other killings that resulted to the loss of lives of over 1,000 members, resolved to defend themselves in the face of any attack, but it did not say with weapons.
His words: “We believe that some people are out to destroy IPOB name, and it is the same people who tried without success to link us with the seizure of a merchant ship last month, which the Nigerian Army confirmed the hijackers were not from Nigeria. Now, that the plan to tarnish our image has failed, they are plotting another way by saying that we want to go violent, but their plan will not work.
“IPOB will maintain its non violent approach. Like other responsible Biafra agitators, we will not be violent but Nigerians and the world should be rest assured that we will defend ourselves in the face of any attack by the military, police or any other security agencies because we have been pushed to the wall by the Nigerian military and the police, and we will not take that any longer.
“There are many non violent ways of defending ourselves. Self defence is approved in international law, and you should not be shooting people that were praying and think that they will leave you unchallenged.
“We are not going to involve in any kind of arms struggle. It is not our style but we must achieve Biafra. It is funny that the people that have been killing us over the years are now jittery that we said we will defend ourselves in the face of any attack. So, they love their lives, they do not want to die but they are killing us. Let them try and kill our members again and we will show them how we will defend ourselves” he said.