There has been exchange of words between Imo State Government and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the security situation in Orlu, which has witnessed confrontation between the Army and members of IPOB.
Leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, in his reaction to the continuous stay of the military in Orlu and its environs, said his organisation would defend Igboland, alleging that “the Nigeria military has, at last, brought war to Biafra land.”
But in a swift reaction, the Imo State Government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Declan Emelumba, described the allegation of war in the area as “malicious rumours instigated by the enemies of the state government.”
He said, “The attention of Imo State Government has been drawn to malicious rumours circulating around that the security situation in Orlu and environs has worsened.
The purveyors of this tale went even further to impute that security forces have been shooting sporadically and arresting innocent citizens.
For the avoidance of doubt, there is no truth whatsoever in those stories. If anything, the situation in Orlu has since been brought under control. There is absolute peace and calm in the city as people are going about their normal duties.
“No matter the level of provocation, Imo State Government, under the leadership of Governor Hope Uzodinma, will continue to discharge its primary duty of protection of lives and property.”
But Kanu, who spoke through the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said the military, “Supported by other security agencies, including police and the Department of State Services, DSS, came with military jets, tanks and heavy war equipment against us. Yes, the second Nigeria/Biafra war has begun! The war began on Thursday, February 18, 2021,” he said.”
Notwithstanding the altercations, Governor Uzodinma has said his administration would not yield to pressure from those calling for withdrawal of soldiers from the crisis-ridden area.
The governor said he invited soldiers to Orlu to restore calm in the area. He said, “The government discovered that there were deliberate attempts by IPOB to attack Orlu people and the government in the guise that they were looking for Fulani herdsmen.”