The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, on Friday, condemned the deadly attack on the US Embassy convoy in Anambra State on May 16. IPOB, a separatist movement advocating for the independence of the Biafra region, emphasized the need for swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The convoy, consisting of two U.S. government vehicles, was ambushed by unknown assailants in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State. It carried a total of nine Nigerian nationals, including five employees from the U.S. Mission to Nigeria and four members of the Nigeria Police Force. The attack left at least four people dead and several others kidnapped. Those killed included two personnel of the US consulate and two police officers.
According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the purpose of the convoy was to make preparations for an upcoming visit to a flood response project in Anambra, funded by the United States.
On Friday, the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria confirmed the safe recovery of two employees who had been missing since the attack. The employees were reported to be alive and under the protection of Nigerian authorities in Anambra. Their families were notified, and U.S. Mission personnel were en route to meet and accompany them back home.
IPOB, while condemning the attack, asserted that they were not involved and denied any responsibility. They argued that accusations linking them to the attack were baseless and part of an attempt to undermine their movement and tarnish their reputation. IPOB further alleged that the government was using such incidents to discredit their cause and create an unsafe environment in the Biafra region.
The motive behind the attack remained unclear, and investigations were ongoing to determine the identities of the assailants and their affiliations. IPOB called for a thorough and unbiased investigation to uncover the truth and ensure justice was served. They emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in identifying those responsible for the attack.
The U.S. government, while confirming the safety of its personnel, strongly condemned the attack and expressed its support for Nigerian law enforcement in their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken extended condolences to the families of the victims and reassured the commitment of the United States to the safety and security of its personnel.
The attack on the US Embassy convoy in Anambra State highlighted the challenges faced by diplomatic missions operating in regions with ongoing tensions and security concerns. The incident underscored the need for robust security measures to protect diplomatic personnel and prevent such attacks from occurring in the future.
As investigations continued, IPOB called for a thorough and impartial examination of the incident to ensure that the true culprits were held accountable. The outcome of the investigation would provide clarity on the motives behind the attack and contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
The attack on the US Embassy convoy served as a reminder of the complex security landscape in Nigeria and the importance of addressing underlying grievances to promote peace and stability in the Biafra region.