Officers from the Department of State Security ( DSS) have accused members of the indigenous people of Biafra in Abia State of allegedly abducting and killing 5 fulani herdsmen in a bid to incite mistrust and ethnic clash amongst non indigenes. The DSS made the assertion in a press statement signed on April 9 by its spokesman Tony Opuiyo in Abuja, Nigeria. It disclosed that the DSS has taken over Umuanyi forest near Aba, where at least 55 people were purported to have been buried in graves by the Biafra members. The service further blamed Biafra members of the abduction and murder of 5 Hausa-Fulani men whose remains it said were buried in the same forest. “The Service has uncovered the heinous role played by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra in the abduction/kidnap of five Hausa-Fulani residents, namely Mohammed Gainako, Ibrahim Mohammed, Idris Yakubu, and Isa Mohammed Rago at Isuikwuato LGA in Abia state. The abducted men were later discovered at the Umuanyi Forest, Abia state, where they were suspected to have been killed by their abductors and buried in shallow graves, amidst 50 other shallow graves of unidentified persons. Arrests and investigation conducted so far revealed that elements within the IPOB carried out this dastardly action.” The DSS spokesperson stated that it was pertinent to alert the general public that IPOB was step by step showing its true divisive colour and objectives, while steadily embarking on gruesome actions in a bid to ignite ethnic terrorism and mistrust amongst non-indigences in the South-East region and other parts of the country. However, the new leader of MASSOB, another Biafra-related group, Uchenna Madu, recently stated that the activists would remain resolute on their peaceful agitation. The security service also alleged that arrested Boko Haram deputy commander, Khalid Al-Barnawi, was responsible for the bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja, on August 26, 2011 and the attack on troops in Okene, Kogi state, while in transit to Abuja. He was also responsible for the kidnap of two European civil engineers in Kebbi State in May, 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto state. DSS alleged that the suspect planned and executed the abduction of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach, in January 2012 and the kidnap and murder of 7 expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, in Bauchi state in February, 2013. Al-Barnawi, who is believed to be the close ally of the leader of the Boko Haram sect Abubakar Shekau, was arrested recently by the Nigerian army. The US authorities had offered a multi-million-dollar bounty for his capture. Shekau in his latest video had warned President Buhari and threatened to attack Aso Rock presidential villa.
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