The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says it has appointed a replacement for its commander killed by security operatives in Imo State on Saturday.
Emmanuel Powerful, who is the Media and Publicity Secretary to the group, disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
“They can say whatever they like, but we are intact. Another commander has taken over,” he said, adding, “I won’t tell you” when asked to name the successor of the secessionist group’s number two man who was popularly known as Ikonso Commander.
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 the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, of orchestrating the event that led to the killing of Ikonso.
Powerful decried 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 alleged.
The IPOB spokesman added, “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.”
On Saturday, the Nigerian Army confirmed the death of Ikonso – the overall commander and vice president of the secessionist group.
He was said to have been killed by a combined team of security forces in a raid on the operational headquarters of the IPOB/ESN in Awomama Village in Oru East local government area of Imo State.