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Gunmen smash cars, hoist Biafran flags in Anambra

By Nwanosike Onu, Awka and Emma Elekwa, Onitsha

There was pandemonium on Thursday when no fewer than 10 gunmen invaded a bank in Anambra State, smashing vehicles and hoisting Biafran flags.

No life was lost in the incident which occurred at Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area at about 4 pm.

The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) alleged a plot to frame it for impending attacks on banks.

The gunmen shot into the air as passersby, customers and staff members scampered for safety.

An eyewitness said the attackers arrived in a black Honda Pilot Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

They were said to have set fire on a Nissan Pathfinder SUV, with registration number UR 640 KJA.

They smashed the glasses of a Honda car with registration number FST 456 AC, both parked at the bank.

Police spokesman, Ikenga Tochukwu, said the command was on the trail of the hoodlums.

“The hoodlums were pursuing their target and when they could not get him, they started shooting sporadically in the air.

“They smashed some vehicles, but we cannot ascertain at the moment whether anyone was injured or the actual damage caused as a result

“The command will not allow such hoodlums to run over Anambra State. An investigation is on,” Tochukwu said.

IPOB dismissed a purported claim by security agencies that its security outfit, the Eastern Security Network (ESN), intends to attack banks in the Southeast to acquire money to purchase arms.

The group, however, did not specify when the security agencies made the claim.

IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, said members of the group are not criminals.

“We, the global family of the IPOB ably led by our great and indomitable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to put banks in Biafraland on notice of a wicked plot by the security agencies to harm them.

“Our intelligence unit has uncovered fabricated propaganda…that ESN is planning to attack banks in Biafraland to acquire money to purchase arms.

“We, therefore, wish to debunk this falsehood and blatant lie from the pit of hell.

“IPOB and ESN are not criminals and we have no plans or agenda to touch any institution, particularly banks.”

IPOB said it had no reason to attack banks as it was not looking for money to buy arms.

“We are not looking for money to buy arms because we produce our arms locally and cannot attack or kidnap anybody for ransom.

“We don’t inflict pains on the people. We are fighting for their freedom…This poor script cannot fly.

“IPOB and ESN are very disciplined groups, and we cannot indulge in armed robbery against any individual or group.

“ESN has never left its mandate which is to defend Biafraland against terrorists and killer herdsmen.

“All banks in Biafraland must be wary…because they (security agencies) may be planning to sponsor attacks on banks and turn around, as usual, to blame it on IPOB and ESN operatives.

“They have tried to blame the attacks on security formations in Southeast on us but now, it is obvious that we are innocent of that. They have quickly changed tact in their desperation to blackmail us and find a cheap excuse to declare another special military operation in the zone.

“Our people should be smart and not buy into their tricks.

“We are waiting for any group of armed robbers who would attempt to attack any bank in Biafraland in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of IPOB and ESN. Such band of criminals and their sponsors will regret their action.

“We assure every resident and institution, including banks in Biafraland, of their safety. We will help resist criminals…arranging to attack banks in the name of ESN and IPOB.”

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