The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said it has appointed a replacement for its commander killed by security operatives military in Imo State.
Emmanuel Powerful, the Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, disclosed this in an interview on Sunday.
Ikonso Commander, the alleged leader of IPOB’s militia arm, was killed in the early hours of Saturday during a gun battle with combined operatives from the police, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Army.
But despite Ikonso’s death, Powerful insisted that the group is still intact and its operations in the South-East region are ongoing.
“They can say whatever they like, but we are intact. Another commander has taken over,” Powerful said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
When asked to name the successor of the secessionist group’s number two man, Powerful said: “I won’t tell you.”
The IPOB spokesman alleged that their late commander was killed because he refused to lead the Ebubeagu regional security outfit established by the South East Governors’ Forum.
He accused Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State, of orchestrating the event that led to the killing of Ikonson.
Powerful lamented that scores of IPOB and Eastern Security Network (ESN) members have been arrested across states in the region, stressing that the proscription of the group as a terrorist organisation was illegal.
“Yesterday (Saturday), our commander went to his village. They ambushed him with some politicians … they ordered the military to kill him. Imo State administrator knows very that he has committed a crime and we must follow him up.
“He ordered for the killing of this guy (the late commander) because he refused his offer to come and head the Ebubeagu which the South-East governors established.
“He (the governor) sent some people to meet him (the late commander), but the guy refused that he cannot betray Biafra’s agitation and our leader – Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Since then, they have been threatening him.
“In Imo State, they arrested more than 50 people … they have been going to people’s houses to arrest them; in Anambra, they arrested so many people; in Abia, they arrested so many people,” he alleged.
On Saturday, the Nigerian Army confirmed the death of Ikonson – the overall commander and vice president of the secessionist group.