Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has issued a statement today branding the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a “terrorist organisation”.
The statement from the Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche declared that: “After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organisation 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 have been terrorising the general public include:
“The formation of a Biafra Secret Service, claimed formation of Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.
“Militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles, among others) on a military patrol on September 10, 2017
“Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other Indigenous People of Biafra( IPOB ) actors at a check point on September 11, 2017 and also attempt to snatch their rifles.
“Attack by IPOB members on a military checkpoint on September 12, 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle.’
“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.”
Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB have been campaigning for the secession of southeast Nigeria from the rest of the country as an independent state of Biafra. Since Sunday, Kanu’s home in Afaraukwu in Abia State has been under siege from the Nigerian army, with reports that soldiers forced their way into the property last night.
There are unconfirmed reports of deaths and no clear indication where Kanu is. Some reports claim that he and his father were arrested by the army, while there a claims that he has evaded arrest, with just the elder Kanu in custody.
It remains to be seen how this new branding of IPOB affects the dynamic in their agitation for Biafran “self-determination”.