A Pan-Igbo group has condemned members of the Indigenous People of Biafra over the rumours about the Army causing Monkey Pox disease.
A Pan-Igbo group, the Igbo for Nigeria Movement [INM], has faulted reports in some quarters that the suspected cases of Monkey Pox recorded in some states were caused by the medical outreach of the Operation Python Dance II by the Nigerian Army.
Reacting to the development, INM, in a media briefing, said the circulation of the rumour has portrayed Ndigbos as unthinking and shallow-minded people.
Addressing newsmen on the report, National President of INM, Mazi Ifeanyi Igwe observed that facts on the ground showed that the larger population of the South East are law-abiding and have very cordial relationships with the military and all security agencies in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Army.
Mazi Igwe added that only those with criminal intent need to fear because of their illicit activities which the Army has thwarted.
“We want to appeal to Ndigbo to decisively deal with the IPOB problem as it has been established that this criminal lies emanating from the terror group.
Even as the damage is unfolding, Emma Powerful, the supposed spokesperson of IPOB, continues to make inflammatory remarks, which were sadly reported by some mainstream media that ignored the fact that his group is a designated terror organization.
Unfortunately, IPOB is laying the groundworks to kill and destroy more Igbo people than any security agency could have ever done even if they had mounted a coordinated genocidal campaign against the South East geo-political zone.
This is a concern that is backed up by logic. The IPOB lies has practically shut down schools. Emma Powerful asked teachers and pupils to stay at home until Operation Python Dance II leaves the South East.
This is going to disrupt the education calendar in Igbo areas and this will leave our students at a disadvantage since the other parts of the country would not pause their calendar for the South East.
Since Operation Python Dance is now poised to be an annual event, are we going to be shutting down our school every year while other regions make progress?
Should Monkey Pox evolve into an epidemic that requires mass vaccination, the lies and rumours that have spread like wildfire will prevent people from accepting life-saving inoculations and treatment.
While IPOB’s lies may serve its immediate propaganda goal, it will create a new generation of vaccine denials in the long term.
Unless something is urgently done, we are at risk of babies dying while those that survive would do so with the ravages of diseases like polio that vaccines could have easily dealt with.
We will also bear the burden of staring afresh to roll back any eradicated disease that resurfaces as a result.
If our Hausa-Fulani brothers or any other ethnic group for that matter, are resolute on decimating the Igbos as Emma Powerful is lying, they will easily achieve that by tampering with our food sources since Nigeria's food chain is heavily interconnected.
The South East does not produce all the meat, fish, grains and tubers it consumes and these are items that can be tampered with or bioengineered to deliver pestilence. It is, therefore, unkind to accuse others of what we are incapable of.
Our hope is that the Nigerian Army would remain on standby with its Operation Python Dance II Medical Outreach to cater for those in need of medical attention once the lies making the rounds have been properly exposed,” he added.
Igwe called on the states in the South East and the federal government to take immediate steps to stop further propagation of the lies by getting a legal interpretation on IPOB’s continuing capacity to issue statements as an already-labeled terror group.