It’s now official — at least in military circles — the organisation led by Nnamdi Kanu is a terror group.
John Enenche, the director, defence
information, said on Friday that the claim by Indigenous Peoples of
Biafra (IPOB) that it is non-violent is not true “after due professional
analysis and recent developments”.
He listed what constitutes “terrorism”
as the formation of a Biafra secret service, setting up of Biafra
national guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and
extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.
To support the military’s position, he
said IPOB used weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken
bottles, among others) on a patrol on September 10, 2017.
“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,” he said.
BUT 24 HOURS AGO…
Enenche’s claims sharply contrasted with
the press release issued by the army on Thursday — or 24 hours earlier —
according to an analysis done by TheCable team.
In the statement, reproduced below, the
army said: “While they are yet to carry arms openly in their activities,
it is very likely that they would employ the use of arms in the days
Did IPOB take delivery of arms between Thursday and Friday? Or were they declared terrorists because of what they may do?
It should be noted, though, that the
army constantly used the word “insurgency” to describe IPOB’s activities
in the press statement.
Below is the full text of the statement.
UPDATE ON IPOB ACTIVITIES IN 82 DIV AOR AS AT 121800A SEP 17.
to the pronouncement by the NA that Ex Egwu Eke would commence in the
SE on 15 Sep 17 and the subsequent movement of military hardware
including AFVs and troops to the SE, IPOB agitators became apprehensive.
They interpreted the Exercise as a military invasion of the SE.
Accordingly, they devised a strategy to frustrate the NA by attacking
troops with stones, bottles, sticks and other dangerous missiles. The
attack on troops on 11 Sep 17 leading to injuries on a soldier and a
civilian at Umuahia is instructive. Consequently upon IPOB attacks on
troops, IPOB propaganda Machinery using the media would distort actual
occurrences and portray a negative image of the NA claiming that the NA
have killed several IPOB members and injured several others.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu based on the false propaganda that troops had
killed some of their members instigated others to embark on widespread
acts of insurgency and total breakdown of law and order. He urged his
supporters who are mostly the downtrodden to burn down the country if he
is arrested. He also demanded the immediate withdrawal of troops from
the activities of IPOB on 12 Sep 17 extended to ABA, a densely
populated area. IPOB members acting on the instructions of Nnamdi Kanu
embarked on widespread breakdown of law and order. They set tyres on
fire, burnt some vehicles and reported killed some northerners (number
yet to be ascertained). Northerners houses, shops and goods were also
targeted. They also threw missiles like bottles and stones on troops.
Their activities caused chaos and massive traffic jam in Aba.
Northerners had to be evacuated to a safe place by troops to avoid being
assessment of the situation suggest that IPOB intends to frustrate
troops activities and trigger a confrontation which they will magnify as
an army invasion especially through the social media. Their objective
is to attract local and international sympathy with a view to
intimidating the NA to cancel the forthcoming Ex Egwu Eke. This is to
enable them consolidate on their insurgent activities, propagate hate
speeches, have freedom of action, distribute subversive materials, have a
stronghold, intensify their rallies and instigate locals to join their
insurgency. They also appear resolute to implement their threat to
disrupt the forthcoming Nov 18 Election in Anambra State. Ironically the
state governors are playing politics with the situation and insisting
that they can deal with the situation themselves. It is instructive
however that the Governor of Abia state on 12 Sep 17 declared a curfew
in Aba from 6pm to 6am.
it is projected that IPOB activities especially riots, attacks on
troops and false media propaganda would increase in the days ahead. While
they are yet to carry arms openly in their activities, it is very
likely that they would employ the use of arms in the days ahead.
view of the foregoing, troops must remain resolute in neutralizing this
emerging and dangerous threat. Troops must abide with the rules of
engagement, adhere to established code of conduct, respect human rights
laws and remain professional. Troops must not be intimidated but sustain
the tempo in bringing an end to this menace. Ex Egwu Eke should
continue as planned and efforts must be sustained in winning the media
is imperative to highlight also that this threat has been brewing for a
long time and is only manifesting. Therefore it is essential that the
threat is neutralized now or we would only be postponing the evil day.
It is bound to escalate at some point. Troops must at this point avoid
skeletal deployments and should be in strength at all time. Targeting
and arresting of key leaders of the insurgents in collaboration with
other security agencies is essential. Protection of KPs and VPs is also
imperative. Efforts must also be sustained to prevent reprisal attacks
in other parts of the country. All formations would therefore need to be
proactive and device measures in preventing reprisals attacks in their
respective AOR. National Orientation Agency must also step up media
campaign to enlighten the populace of the implications of allowing IPOB
threat to escalate. Furthermore political imperatives especially
Governors from the SE would need to show resolve and political will in
tackling this growing insurgency.