Secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has reacted to the killing of four oil workers of Lee Engineering Company by gunmen in the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State on Monday.
The group stated that it was not responsible for the attack, insisting that some enemies were trying to dent the image of the group.
It was learnt that the oil workers were going to their oil plant in Assa community when the attackers shot them.
SaharaReporters published that the four persons died instantly while many others sustained injuries.
Confirming the incident, the national president of Congress of Ohaji Youths, Emmanuel Ugorji, said some community leaders and security agents, including himself, had visited the scene.
He aslo called on the government to beef up security in the area, adding that gunmen were terrorising the area in recent times.
The enraged youth leader said, “The first attack by this group was an attack on Oil Serve company and the second one was the kidnapping of the Cluster Development Board Chairman, Godswill Uzomba, whose whereabouts have remained unknown for three months now and followed by burning of ZEROC equipment at Watersmith industrial park by a known criminal gang.”
But in a statement by IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful on Thursday, the group said, “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the fabricated falsehood being peddled by our enemies that IPOB killed oil workers in Etekuru community and Asa in Ohaji council of Imo State.
“This is a complete falsehood to tarnish our global reputation. We have no hand in such barbarity. We are not bandits or terrorists that spill blood; IPOB is a non-violent and peaceful movement whose agenda is the restoration of Biafra. Killing or maiming of innocent lives is not part of our mandate.i
“This won’t be the first time enemies of the struggle will be linking us with such atrocity in their desperate but futile attempt to blackmail us but we are innocent of it all. We, therefore, urge members of the public to disregard this unfounded propaganda which is the antics of our enemies.”
While the separatist group stated that suspended sit-at-home order on Monday exonerated its members from such a callous act, it also called on the affected company to probe the incident.
“A further proof that this allegation does not hold water is the fact that even before the purported killings, IPOB had in well-circulated publications at two different times, announced the cancellation of sit-at-home orders on Mondays. So, on what basis will IPOB still go and enforce the same order it had suspended?
“We suspended the sit-at-home order and anybody enforcing sit at home on the day we suspended must have been sponsored by Nigerian government and her security agencies to blackmail IPOB. We have no business with oil companies and their workers in Ohaji or any other place. The oil companies should investigate this attack thoroughly and know who was involved in this act,” Powerful added in the statement.