The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has told the Nigerian army that the man security agents claimed to have arrested in Aba, Abia State, is too fragile to be an operative of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), let alone be the second-in-command to Ikonso.
The separatist group stated that it would not deny if truly security agencies captured or killed any ESN member, just as it confirmed Ikonso’s death.
IPOB said the army and other security agencies are fond of deceiving Nigerians to attract shameful compliments.
The group stated this in a statement by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, on Thursday.
Brig. Gen Mohammed Yerima, director, Army Public Relations, had in a statement on Wednesday, said security agencies arrested 48-year-old Awurum Eze, a native of Umoneke Nta in the Isiala-Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
“The Second-in-Command to the neutralised IPOB/ESN terrorist leader Ikonso, Awurum Eze, has been arrested by security operatives in Aba, Abia State.
“The 48-year-old Awurum Eze, a native of Umoneke Nta, Isiala-Mbano LGA, Imo State, had on the 4th of May, 2021 escaped when operatives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) stormed his village house in Isiala Mbano where he was hiding,” Yertima had said.
Reacting, Powerful said: “The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ably led by our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, read with utter amusement, media reports of claims by the Nigeria Army that it arrested Ikonso’s Second-in-Command in Aba. This is a blatant lie and a cheap propaganda to lay false claims to imaginary military prowess.
“The said man is not an operative of ESN. Such a man is too old to be recruited into ESN let alone being Ikonso’s Second-in-Command.
“The Nigeria Army that is too weak to confront bandits and terrorists overrunning Northern communities can fabricate any propaganda in quest to deceive the gullible minds. The Nigeria security agents should stop making mockery of themselves. Arrest of innocent Biafrans and labelling them ESN operatives cannot make you overpower our gallant ESN operatives”.
IPOB stated that Eze was arrested after he was betrayed by his traditional ruler who allegedly had a row with him.
The group alleged that the arrest of Eze is part of the ploy by the army to keep harassing, arresting and killing the people of the South-east to frustrate Biafra agitation.
“That you ambushed Ikonso with the help of some traitors did not mean you have crushed ESN. Stop claiming what you have not done in your bid to win public accolades. If you arrest or kill Ikonso’s Second-in-Command, we will not hesitate to admit it just the same way we did not deny the murder of Ikonso.
“We are not like Nigeria that lives in propaganda; we tell the truth always. So, stop harassing innocent Biafrans in the name of a manhunt for ESN personnel.
“Our background check revealed that the said man had issues with his traditional ruler who gave his contact to the security agents alleging that he belongs to ESN. He is not our own.
“We are assuring them that whatever they do they cannot win ESN in this fight for freedom. The secret killing and abduction can never make IPOB change our resolve towards restoring Biafra as an independent nation.
“Again, we wish to remind Biafrans and the world, of a grand plot by the Nigeria security agencies to reduce Biafra population through the ongoing secret abductions and killings of innocent Biafrans after tagging them IPOB and ESN members.
“This wicked plot which started in Imo State is now gaining momentum across the entire Biafra land through the collaboration of some traitors in the mould of Supreme Court administrator of Imo State Hope Uzodinma and his likes.
“Biafrans of all age brackets are now at the mercy of the double-faced Nigeria security agents as all they need to arrest and kill them off is to brand them ESN operative or sponsor,” Powerful added.