The Defence Headquarters has branded the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a “militant terrorist organisation’’ and urged parents to dissuade their wards from joining the group.
In a statement in Abuja on Friday, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, the Director, Defence Information, therefore, restated the commitment of the Armed Forces to confront “all security challenges facing the country.’’
Enenche also assured of the protection of lives and property in all parts of the country.
He said that IPOB posed security challenge and had been metamorphosing from one stage to another.
“After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organisation is non-violent is not true.
“Hence, the need to bring to public awareness the true and current state of IPOB.
“In this regard, some of their actions, clandestinely and actively, that have been terrorising the general public include:
“The formation of a Biafra Secret Service, claimed formation of Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.
“Militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles, among others) on a military patrol on Sept. 10, 2017.
“Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on Sept. 11, 2017 and also attempt to snatch their rifles.
“Attack by IPOB members on a military check point on Sept. 12, 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle.’’
“From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wish to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation,’’ the DDI said.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) has denied being a militant terrorist organisation as declared by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Friday.
The IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, who stated this in a statement issued to newsmen in Enugu accused security operatives of making frantic efforts to label their group a terrorist organisation.
He alleged that security operatives, especially the “Nigerian Army and police personnel drafted to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s house has planted bombs in and around Nnamdi Kanu’s house in Isiama Afaraukwu Ibeku Umuahia Abia State” in a bid to paint the image of IPOB in bad light.
He wondered why after the alleged attacks on Kanu’s house and nobody allowed to come near the compound, bombs are allegedly planted “in his compound in order to create impression or tag our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB members terrorist group.”
Powerful further alleged that “the Nigerian Army planted bombs in and around the compound waiting for the bombs to blow up and then accuse Nnamdi Kanu and the peaceful and innocent members of IPOB of keeping bombs in his home town and his compound for attacks.
“We urge men and women of good conscience around the globe to prevail on Nigerian Government and her security operatives, especially the Nigeria Army and police to desist from rubbishing the rule of engagements and code of conducts of the Nigerian Army and also killing innocent civilians in the name of fighting crime and kidnappers.
“IPOB under Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has not since the inception of this fight for Biafra independence involved in any act of violence or crime,” saying that the APC led by President “Muhammad Buhari with the supervision of Brig. General Tukur Bruatai must held accountable for the bombs and the lives lost since the launching of this barbaric attacks code named operation Python Dance 11 in every state in Biafraland.”