IPOB accuses soldiers of killing civilians in Orlu, Imo State

Ohaneze factional leader accuses Uzodimma of complicity in killings

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has raised the alarm over a systemic elimination of civilians in Okporo Orlu, Imo State.

Streets and roads of Okporo Orlu have been deserted and several businesses closed down following clashes between soldiers and civilian last week.

IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, on Monday described the killings as alarming, adding, “Soldiers are shooting anybody at sight or anybody they suspect to be a member of Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“They are aiming and shooting at civilians, anybody they see in the street or road they will shoot.

“We have challenged them to come to the bush and meet us there but they are looking for us on the streets and roads.”

He expressed sadness over the killing of innocent people, adding they would not want a repeat of what happened in Obigbo Rivers State in Imo.

Meanwhile, the factional leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chidi Ibeh, has accused Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma of complicity in the killings, saying the governor would be held accountable for deaths in the Orlu crisis.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ibeh’s media adviser, Kalu Uduma, faulted the military’s involvement in addressing civil disobedience.

The group also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to address issues leading to their continued agitation.

He said: “We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to take appropriate actions to ensure there’s dialogue between him and IPOB, as what’s good for the goose is also for the gander.

“Governor Uzodimma should be wary of the verdict of history. Whatever decisions taken today in the cause of protecting lives and properties should not involve military operations in civil disobedience or self-determination. Ndigbo will hold the governor accountable for any life lost in Imo State under any circumstances.”

In another development, the Igbo National Congress (INC) has called on Uzodimma to call off the military campaign before it degenerates to a dangerous magnitude.

The group condemned the invasion of Orlu communities by security operatives.

A statement on Tuesday by the President, Chilos Godsent, called on Governor Uzodimma to intervene in the conflict and halt the destruction of lives and properties.

The statement reads: “It may not be to the best interest of the Imo State and Federal Government to militarise any part of Igbo Nation in the disguise of fighting pro-Biafra agitators.

“The police have the capacity to tackle crime in any part of Nigeria, if well mobilised and given a free hand to operate.”

Chilos also urged the Federal Government to redeploy the soldiers ravaging Orlu communities to the highways where herdsmen are terrorising Nigerians.

He feared that if the conflict is not quickly resolved, it might escalate to other communities in the state.


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