Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel, to the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB , has warned against utterances that could worsen the rising tension caused by the incessant killings in the southeast region.
Ejiofor made this call following the outrage being generated by the reported killing of Harira Jubril, the pregnant woman who was shot dead by unknown gunmen alongside her four children in Anambra state on Sunday.
Many northern leaders and groups in their reactions registered anger, alleging that the killings are a form of ethnic cleansing orchestrated by members of IPOB /ESN (Eastern Security Network).
In one of the statements issued by the Coalition Of Northern Groups, they decried the killing and destruction of properties in the region. The message titled ‘STATEMENT BY THE COALITION OF NORTHERN GROUPS (CNG) IN RESPONSE TO THE INCESSANT KILLINGS OF NORTHERNERS IN SOUTH-EAST’, was signed by CNG’s spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, and issued on Tuesday.
The group in their statement pointedly accused the southeast residents, leaders plus the media of shielding the murderous gangs wreaking havoc and killing northerners.
Part of the statement read, “We note also the deliberate attempt by the media and southern leaders to conceal the true identity of the murderous IPOB/ESN terrorists by concealing it as ‘unknown gunmen’ while in actual sense they are known.
“We are aware that the activities of the IPOB/ESN terror groups are supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the pliant Igbo elites, politicians, traditional rulers, business persons, and the larger population of this ethnic group.
“As the representatives of various interest groups from Northern Nigeria, the CNG today declares enough is enough. The North will no longer remain passive under such deliberate and sustained attacks on its people and interests, and will henceforth be forced to react to every provocation and unwarranted violation.”
Responding to CNG’s accusations, IPOB’s lawyer in a statement made available to AF24NEWS urged the group to desist from utterances that could heat up the country.
He said, “Please note that the victims of these mindless bloody assaults are not limited to a particular ethnic group, capable of warranting the present threats being dished out to the South-East.
“Also, there is the need to stress the trajectory of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, which suggests that the culprits are not limited to people of a particular region (South-East). Other tribes like the Fulani herdsmen are equally on rampage in our region.
“It is critical at this juncture, that security Agents are allowed to carryout a thorough investigation into these barbaric acts.
Hence, people should refrain from making pronouncements capable of heating up the already volatile polity that could ultimately promote the vice, which the ordinary intent of the pronouncement is set out to cure.”
The lawyer while condemning the wanton bloodletting in the region, distanced his client Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB from the incidences. Ejiofor insisted that the group remains a “peaceful movement”.
“As the Lead Counsel for the IPOB and on behalf of my client, I wish to reiterate that the IPOB leadership have never supported the nefarious activities of these enemies of our people, neither have they, in any of their publication approved such inhuman and barbaric activities of these criminals.
“The IPOB remains a lawful and peaceful movement.
“We, therefore, call on every well-meaning person to join hands in helping to fight and flush out insurgency in the South-East.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the families of all those who have lost their loved ones as a result of these mayhem in the South-East.
“Please be assured that no stone will be left unturned, towards ensuring that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to book,” he added.