The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has again, re-assured that it has no plans to attack Northerners resident in South East and South South zones as reprisal for the killings by Fulani herdsmen in the regions.
IPOB’s media and publicity officer, Emma Powerful, who gave the assurance in a press statement , said it had become necessary following series of calls on the leadership of the pro-Biafra group to rescind its ultimatum to herdsmen to quit the zone.
IPOB said that its earlier position never to retaliate the killings of Southerners by herdsmen in line with its non- violent philosophy had not changed, adding that it never issued any ultimatum asking the herdsmen to vacate South East contrary to perception in certain quarters.
The statement reads in part: “It has become absolutely necessary due to calls from well meaning citizens to state publicly, that we do not have any intention, let alone, plans to attack northerners resident in the Eastern region in the name of reprisal attacks.
“We are not a violent organization; we are a peace-loving mass movement, with branches in 98 countries, desirous of freedom from a ruthless, tyrannical oppressor who has held us down for decades.
“Our prayer to be free to determine our future and that of our children is legitimate and divine. We don’t have any reason whatsoever to attack and kill people in cold blood.
“We are not planning any attacks, we are committed to a peaceful dissolution of this prison, where some people erroneously believe they are born to rule us, where there is suffering in the midst of plenty, where an unworkable structure is imposed on 180 million people, where ethnic hatred reigns”.
IPOB argued that if it were to launch reprisals, it would have long retaliated the mindless killings of its protesting members by security operatives in different parts of South East.
“We were mindlessly mowed down in Port Harcourt, Onitsha Obodo-Ukwu Road, Onitsha Bridge head and while praying at a school compound in Aba. We endured all with equanimity.
“Those who killed and buried hundreds of our members suddenly turned around to falsely accuse us of killing 5 of their kinsmen, the whole world rose in our defense. We can never get down low to kill people in cold blood. We are not animals.”
IPOB promised to maintain its non- violent posture in the struggles for self- rule.
“As we steadfastly march towards freedom, we hope to maintain friendly relations and cordial trade agreements with our neighbors.
“We don’t plan to create a hostile environment for our emerging new nation.
“Moreover, it has never been our nature to attack and kill people in cold blood.
Those calling us and pleadings with us to cancel our threats and ultimatums, should know, that we never issued any ultimatum after the Uzo-Uwani massacres.
“They should therefore direct their pleas to rabble rousers and agent provocateurs who found their voices only after the Uzo-Uwani massacre, and are merely playing to the gallery in order to be noticed.
Some of them are sponsored by local politicians to issue threats and ultimatums in the hope that the presidency which has ignored them will invite them to plead with their youths to sheathe their swords. An old game they usually play in pursuit of relevance.
“When the Federal Government complied with our one and only ultimatum, about the Ugwuleshi 76, two hours before the expiration of our 72 hours order, these non-existent groups were dumb, deaf and mute. They suddenly forwarded their voices now, only to issue threats left, right and center. We are too big to flow with the madding crowd.”