By Sadiq Umar – The Defence Headquarters on Friday designated the separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group, warning Nigerians to advise their wards against joining the organization.
The defence authorities also restated its commitment to handling all the security challenges in the Country and further assures all Nigerians of the protection of lives and property.
A statement by the Director, Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, released in Abuja, said the military has analysed the recent activities of IPOB and has come to the conclusion that the group is a terrorist organization contrary to its non-violent claims.
It said “the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) group which has posed to be a security challenge in the Country, has been metamorphosing from one stage to the other.
“After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient, to notify the general public that; the claim by IPOB actors that the organization 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 has been terrorising the general public among others include: The formation of a Biafra Secret Service; claimed formation of Biafra National Guard; unauthorised blocking of public access roads; Extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks and militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others) on a military patrol on 10 September 2017.
Other activities, according to the military are: Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on 11 September 2017 and also attempts to snatch their rifles.
“Attack by IPOB members, on a military check point on 12 September 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle.
“From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organization,” it stated.
“Therefore, parents and particularly unsuspecting residents of the South East and other Nigerians should advice their wards to desist from joining the group.