The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied responsibility for the killing of a police officer and six oil workers in Imo State on Monday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how a convoy transporting workers to a facility belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria were ambushed and the occupants in the bus shot dead by gunmen.
Six of the victims were working with a services company, Lee Engineering Company, which has a contract with Shell, the police spokesperson in Imo State, Mike Abattam, told PREMIUM TIMES.
The police inspector, who provided security for the convoy, was among the victims.
The attack occurred on Monday, which was the day the IPOB had earlier scheduled for a weekly sit-at-home exercise to protest the arrest and detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Though the group had announced the suspension of the weekly exercise two days to it, many people in the region still stayed at home for fear of being attacked.
“We have no hands in such barbarity. We are not bandits or terrorists that spill blood,” IPOB spokesperson, Emma Powerful, said in a statement on Thursday.
“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.”
IPOB said those who linked the group to the killing of the oil workers are “enemies of the struggle” for the “restoration” of Biafra.
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IPOB spokesperson, Mr Powerful, said IPOB had no basis to attack the oil workers, having cancelled the sit-at-home order.
“IPOB is (a) well structured movement with orderliness and Command-and Control. We are not lawless bandits. Nobody should associate us with barbaric acts typical of blood sucking terrorists,” the group said.
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