The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi has said some criminals are committing crimes under the guise of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the South-East.
The governor made the comment during his appearance on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, on Thursday.
He noted that those behind the evil attacks in the South-East may not be members of the IPOB. According to him, “The truth of what is happening is that there are bandits everywhere; there are cultists everywhere. What happens now in the South-East is that criminals who may not necessarily be members of IPOB and ESN, will go and commit crimes and they need a name.
“So it’s safer for them to say they are members of ESN, and IPOB so that the persecution of IPOB and ESN by the Federal Government will cover them.
“That is what is happening in South-East because IPOB and ESN have a number of times come out to say they are not into terrorism and violence, and the people burning police stations and killing are not their members. And so how do you reconcile the two?” he said.
The governor called on South-East governors to rise against the ugly trend of attacks on security outfits especially police stations in the region.
“It is a monster that we must not allow to arise in the South-East. When they finish with that (attacking police stations) they will start attacking stakeholders to kill them,” Umahi said.
Recall that since the recent attacks on prisons and police stations in the South-East, the IPOB has been accused of being behind the said act. Recall also that the former police IG had also accused the group. However, the group have denied the claims noting they are agitators, not gunmen.
In their response, the IPOB stressed that they are not gunmen.
“We were not involved in the attack in Owerri and the recent attack on Onitsha-Owerri road at Ukwuorji junction.
“It is not our mandate to attack security personnel or prison facilities,’’ the Media and Publicity Secretary of the group, Emma Powerful said.
Earlier, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma who reacted to attacks in the South-East had blamed aggrieved politicians, which he said have the sole aim of destabilising his government and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.