Nigeria’s spy agency, SSS, announced on Saturday that it has discovered mass graves of “Hausa-Fulani” residents abducted and murdered by suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in Abia State.
The agency said IPOB carried out the massacre of people of northern Nigerian origin as part of its efforts to destabilise the country.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Tony Opuiyo, the SSS said the killing has triggered tension among different communities in Abia State.
Although Mr. Opuiyo said five men were killed alongside several other unidentified persons, only the names of four individuals were provided.
“The Service has uncovered the heinous role played by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), 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,” Mr. Opuiyo said.
“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 fifty (50) other shallow graves of unidentified persons.
“Arrest and investigation conducted so far, revealed that elements within the IPOB, carried out this dastardly action,” he added.
Mr. Opuiyo said he was alerting Nigerians to the ‘divisive’ and ‘gruesome’ activities of IPOB operatives, allegedly led by fiery broadcaster, Nnamdi Kanu.
Mr. Kanu has been standing trial for treasonable felony since he his arrest on October 17, 2015, after entering Nigeria from the UK where he lives.
“It is pertinent therefore to alert the general public that IPOB, is gradually showing its true divisive colour and objectives, while steadily embarking on gruesome actions in a bid to ignite ethnic terrorism and mistrust amongst non-indigenes in the South-East region and other parts of the country.
“Following this act, tension is currently rife among communal stakeholders in the State with possibilities of spillover to other parts of country,” Mr. Opuiyo said.
In a related development, the SSS has released an update on the recent incarceration of Khalid al-Barnawi, a former Boko Haram leader, in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, describing it as a major breakthrough.
“This Service wish (sic) to inform the general public that further to its efforts to stem the tide of terrorism in the Country, it has recorded another major breakthrough in the arrest of one Mohammed USMAN, widely known as Khalid al-Barnawi, alias Kafuri/ Naziru/Alhaji Yahaya/Malam Dauda/Alhaji Tanimu.
“Khalid al-Barnawj was apprehended by this Service on 1st April, 2016, in Lokoja, Kogi State, while hiding under a false cover. Al-Barnawi was a founding member of the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid Da’wah Wa’l-Jihad (Boko Haram) and later the Amir of the break-away faction, Jama’at Ansarul Muslimim Fi Biladi Sudan (JAMBS).
“Khalid al-Barnawi is a trained terrorist commander, who has been coordinating terrorist activities in Nigeria, while talent-spotting and recruiting vulnerable young and able Nigerians for terrorist training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North African States and the Middle-East.
“Subject was involved in many terrorist attacks in States of the Federation, including Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto and FCT-Abuja. This resulted in the killing and maiming of innocent citizens of this Country. Al-Barnawi is also responsible for the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, on 26th August, 2011; the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi State in May, 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto State; the kidnap of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach in January, 2012, the kidnap and murder of seven expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, in Bauchi State in February, 2013, the attack of Nigerian troops at Okene in Kogi State, while on transit to Abuja for an official assignment.
“Meanwhile, subject would soon be charged to Court to face his charges after investigation is completed.
“This arrest is a major milestone in the counter-terrorism fight of this Service. This arrest has strengthened the Service’s resolve that no matter how long and far perpetrators of crime and their sponsors may run, this Service in collaboration with other sister security agencies, will bring them to justice.”
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