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‘Igbos don’t harm their in-laws, daughters’, IPOB denies hand in murder of soldier couple

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Gunmen kill soldier couple in Imo, r*pe wife, post video

The outlawed Igbo separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has countered allegations by the Nigerian Army that gunmen who beheaded a soldier couple in Imo State last Saturday were members of the group and its militia arm, Eastern Security Network (ESN).

The group said such an act could not have been perpetrated by its members as the Igbos do not harm their in-laws or daughters.

The soldiers who were identified as Master Warrant Officer Sergeant Audu Linus and Private Grace Matthew, were on their way to her hometown in Nkwerre local government area of the state for their traditional marriage rites when they were accosted by the assailants who gruesomely murdered and beheaded them while making a video of the act and posting it on social media.

In a statement on Tuesday by Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, the army said preliminary findings had shown that the perpetrators of the crime were members of IPOB and ESN and vowed that the killers would be tracked down.

“This dastardly act, one too many, clearly portends the deep-seated hate, desperation and lawlessness with which foot soldiers of IPOB/ESN have been unleashing terror on Ndigbo, whom they claim they are on a mission to protect and emancipate, as well as other innocent Nigerians who are resident or transiting the South-East.

But while reacting to the allegation on Thursday, IPOB, through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said that it was “not in the character of true Igbo people to hurt an in-law, no matter the ethnic group such in-law was coming from, let alone when the person was married to a daughter of Igbo land.”

Part of the statement reads:

“We are the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the command of our indefatigable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Our attention has been drawn to the laughable and fallacious statement credited to the Nigerian Army that IPOB is responsible for the killing of a couple on transit in Imo State after their marriage ceremony.

“We wish to place on record that IPOB has no hands in the said dastardly and barbaric act. It is an atrocity which is an abominable act in Igbo tradition to kill a couple for whatever reason.

“No true Igbo will hurt an in-law, let alone one marrying our daughter (Ada Igbo) in Igbo land. The Igbo ancestors will avenge this wickedness meted to an in-law and our daughter.

“Before the Army jumped into their jaundiced conclusion that such an abominable act was masterminded by IPOB, what investigations did they carry out to substantiate their claims?

“When have armed gunmen or criminals recruited by evil politicians in Imo State in connivance with the same security agencies in their desperation to demonize IPOB, become IPOB members?

Read also: Nigerian Army accuses IPOB of killing soldier couple in Imo

“The compromised Nigeria security agencies particularly the Nigeria military is behind the ongoing secret genocide in Biafra land under the guise of hunting for IPOB members, while the real mass murderers and bandits are on the prowl in South East and Northern Nigeria.

“They have always looked for occasions to attack innocent Igbo youths. Who knows the number of innocent Biafrans they will rope in, in the aftermath of this abominable act and tag them the suspects or IPOB members?

“The Nigeria Army should leave IPOB alone because we are not killers, we do not shed blood and can never be unknown gunmen that are pursuing them. The monster they created is now after them, yet they keep pointing accusing fingers at us.”

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