IPOB condemns ESN members’ link to attacks on security agents
By Praise Necherem
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied involvement of members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in the recent attacks on police stations and killing of security personnel in parts of the South East region. The group insists that it was not a terrorist organization and not on the hunt for security agents but interested in flushing out terrorists inside bushes in the zone.
IPOB said comments accredited to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo that ESN operatives were responsible for the series of attacks on security agents in South East was false.
IPOB in a statement issued through its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, explained that the ESN operated in the bushes and not in the cities, urging those looking for them to go to the forests and not cities.
The statement partly read, “The attention of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been drawn to the unfounded allegation by the Nigeria Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, that the personnel of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, are responsible for the series of attacks on security agents in South East and South South in the recent times.
“We also take exceptions to insinuations and some biased media reports linking ESN and IPOB with the purported attacks.
“We are however not surprised that the Nigeria government will easily point accusing fingers at us. We know their antics. They are only looking for another justification to launch fresh military operation in the South East and South South to kill more innocent and unarmed Biafrans.
“The Naval Chief who is too weak to mobilise his troops and confront Boko Haram and Fulani bandits that are daily slaughtering both security operatives and civilians in the North and different parts of the country, Kidnapping for ransom and rapping women in farms, is now threatening to launch military operation against ESN and IPOB.
“What offense has ESN committed other than flushing terrorists out of our lands? When has resisting terrorists in the forest translate to attacking security operatives?
“We have severally stated that ESN is not after security agents but terrorists rampaging our communities. ESN operate in the bushes and not in the cities. Anyone looking for them should go to the forests.
“Neither ESN nor IPOB is involved in the purported attacks against security agents. This is another fabricated lie by the Nigeria military to blackmail the security outfit and have another excuse to attack innocent people.
“ESN is not ‘unknown gunmen’ reported to be responsible for the said attacks. ESN is identifiable and has a mandate. Its mandate is to protect the Eastern region against terrorists and the killer herdsmen. Unless the military is telling us that they are coming to defend the terrorists occupying our forests, otherwise ESN has no business with security agencies.
“ESN is not a terrorist group and cannot be treated as such. The security outfit is a child of necessity born out of the compelling need to protect our people against terrorists’ invasion following the shameful failure of South East governors to float a regional security outfit.
“There’s no way IPOB would fold hands and watch terrorists on evil agenda decimate our communities while the government maintained criminal silence. This gave rise to the setting up of ESN by our proactive leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. No amount of blackmail can coerce us into disbanding ESN. It has come to stay just like Amotekun and the Miyetti Allah Security Network.
“We, therefore, want to place the Eastern people on alert over the evil plot of the Nigeria military to declare another special military operation in the region using the purported attacks which of course are not peculiar to the region as an excuse.”