The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has refuted the Nigerian Army’s claims that the raided camps belonged to their security arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
According to the separatist group, the camps in question were owned by criminals, and the individuals paraded by the army were not ESN members.
This statement comes after the Nigerian Army reported the destruction of alleged IPOB/ESN camps in Anambra State and the arrest of several individuals.
The Army’s Raid and Arrests:
On Monday, the Nigerian Army announced that troops from the 302 Regiment, in collaboration with the Anambra State Vigilante Group, conducted raids in Oroma and Umuewelum Anam, in the Anambra West Local Government Area.
They claimed to have destroyed camps belonging to IPOB/ESN fighters during these operations.
Eight alleged brigands were arrested, and a significant cache of weapons and vehicles was recovered.
In response to the Army’s claims, IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, released a statement refuting the allegations.
Powerful asserted that the camps targeted by the army did not belong to IPOB or ESN.
He suggested that these raids were aimed at tarnishing the image of the separatist group.
Emma Powerful also raised concerns about criminals and infiltrators misusing Nnamdi Kanu’s name and IPOB’s association with them, stating that the organization has consistently disassociated itself from such elements.
Distancing from Criminal Activities:
The IPOB spokesperson emphasized that the group and ESN members were committed to non-violent activities and did not engage in criminal behavior.
He clarified that incidents of kidnapping for ransom and car theft in the East were not perpetrated by IPOB or ESN members.
Emma Powerful expressed confidence in the discipline and loyalty of IPOB volunteers and ESN operatives, emphasizing that they were not involved in any wrongdoing during their duties.
Challenges in Identity Attribution:
The statement also highlighted the challenge of distinguishing genuine IPOB/ESN members from criminals and infiltrators using the group’s name for their nefarious activities.
Emma Powerful accused certain covert narcissists, allegedly paid by the government to discredit Nnamdi Kanu and the peaceful IPOB movement, of perpetuating this misrepresentation.
The separatist group urged security agencies to continue investigating and apprehending those responsible for insecurity in the Southeast Region, while also calling for an end to attempts to link IPOB and ESN to criminal activities.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) firmly denied the Nigerian Army’s assertions regarding the ownership of the raided camps and the identities of those arrested.
In a statement, the group stressed its commitment to non-violence and its determination to distance itself from any criminal elements misusing its name.
The situation highlights the complexities faced by security agencies in accurately attributing criminal activities to specific groups and underscores the importance of thorough investigations to address the security challenges in the Southeast Region.