The outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have denied any involvement in the recent murder of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Iyiorji, in Ebonyi State.
The Muslim cleric, a native of the state and a convert to the Islamic faith, was recently murdered by unidentified gunmen.
The cleric was rumored to have been killed by gunmen believed to be IPOB members, but the militant group said killing Muslims was not part of its mandate.
In a statement by the group’s spokesman, Mr Emma Powerful, on Friday, he said killing a Muslim would add nothing to his quest for the Republic of Biafra.
“IPOB does not engage in such barbaric killings and cannot be part of such a heinous crime against humanity. IPOB does not kill flies is about human beings and an Igbo man for that matter, what whatever their religious beliefs.
“The important questions to ask are: why will the IPOB kill this Igbo Islamic cleric? Is he a threat to the Biafra movement? How many of our known enemies have we killed? he asked.
The group said Nigerian security agencies like to stage the confessions of criminals in hopes of indicting IPOB members.
The group noted that the criminals labeled as unknown gunmen were not part of the IPOB, saying their activities are in the open and cannot be called unknown.
“Some unscrupulous elements and petty thieves are constantly staged by security guards to lie against IPOB members and ESN officers.
“IPOB and ESN have never killed an army officer, policeman or DSS agent despite all the provocations on behalf of unknown gunmen since we started seeking the freedom of Biafra.
“IPOB and ESN do not hide their activities and cannot be called unknown gunmen because we are not faceless or cowards. We are fearless before our enemies,” Puissant added.