The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said that its militant wing codenamed the Eastern Security Network (ESN) has come to stay and that there is nothing the Nigerian government can do to stop its operation in the region.
IPOB said this on Monday in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful.
According to IPOB, ESN has no camps in the forests of Southeast Nigeria.
Powerful said the ESN only has strategically located staging posts at Southeastern boundaries.
He accused the Nigerian government of sponsoring propaganda to mischaracterize the activities of the group.
“ESN has come to stay in Biafraland and no amount of government-funded propaganda will change this fact. Those security agencies under pressure to justify their humongous security budgets should seek other avenues of explanation and stop this shameful habit of tarnishing the good name of ESN,” Powerful stated.
He also said that the ESN “is not the armed or military wing of IPOB,” adding that “it solely exists to keep Biafrans (Southeast) safe from the ravages of Janjaweed terrorist killer herdsmen now plaguing Benue and Plateau states”.
He continued, “Since the launch of ESN by Nnamdi Kanu, the main objective of ensuring the safety of farmlands in the East has been largely accomplished. The Janjaweed terrorists masquerading as herdsmen have been denied the space to operate with impunity unlike what obtained prior to the coming of ESN. Today the East has been spared the excesses of these marauders.”
Amid the spate of killings and kidnappings in the Southeast which have largely been attributed to IPOB and ESN, Powerful said, “Had it not been for the timely intervention of ESN, terrorists masquerading as herdsmen, with the help of security agencies, would have overrun Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi states that came under sustained attacks about two and a half years ago.
“The East would have suffered the same fate now being endured by Southern Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and other indigenes of the Middle Belt.”