Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the Lead Counsel to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on Thursday alleged a conspiracy between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) which recently published the Global Terrorism Index (GTI’s) listing that branded the outlawed group as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world.
In a statement sent to TOP MEDIA, Ejiofor insisted that IPOB is a non-violent group.
He also revealed that “we shall challenge this misguided and misinformed ranking by the Institute for Economics and Peace, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, before the appropriate fora.”
His statement reads in full: “There is no gainsaying the fact, that it would be out of place if the well-orchestrated, high-powered conspiracy between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), its security Agencies and the foreign institution involved, at arriving at a stereotyped scripted outcome in their desperate effort to blackmail and demonize IPOB; is not rebutted/clarified.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria has been effortlessly pushing this obviously mischievous and malicious narrative, and relentlessly attributing all violent crimes and criminal activities being perpetrated in the South-East, as an IPOB contrive.
“Verifiable evidence abounds, which conclusively exonerates IPOB from these heinous crimes, however, pointing at IPOB as those perpetrating these atrocious acts in the South-East is a well scripted conspiratorial agenda in the grand scheme that was set out to be accomplished by the Establishment.
“There are several instances, where even the chief executives of the states in the South-East have openly and publicly declared, based on security intelligence available to them that the criminals behind these relentless bloody onslaughts on innocent citizens in the South East are not IPOB, but a known dissident group being commandeered by a Finland based Nigerian, who has no affiliation whatsoever with IPOB.
“IPOB as a non-violent group, had several times in the past, publicly disassociated themselves from the heinous activities of these marauders, who are desecrating our land. From these plethora of publications, all in the public domain, the leadership of IPOB usually undertakes to participate in fishing out/flushing out these soulless beings from our land. The IPOB publications under reference are accessible on all social media platforms and print media.
“What is most surprising, and beyond comprehension, is the fact that at any slightest violent or criminal occurrence/attack in the South-East, and its environs, the Nigerian Security Agencies will immediately call out the IPOB as those responsible for the heinous crimes, without any attempt at investigating the actual state/ non-state actors involved in the alleged crimes.
“What is not contestable is the fact that the state is fully aware of the methodology and modus operandi of this dangerous group whose style is to hide under the guise of Biafra struggle to perpetuate violent crimes, whilst they are not members of IPOB.
“Unarguably, the essence of the FGN pushing this false narrative to the international arena is to twist, and consequently bias their perception of the IPOB, to erroneously accept the dummy being sold to them that IPOB is responsible for the criminal activities, killings and kidnappings going on in the South-East of Nigeria.
“No wonder, the Federal Government of Nigeria’s first public reaction to the heinous activities of the Finland-based Nigerian, who has been desecrating our land with his dangerous group, was made only few days before the just concluded National elections.
“We wish to again, categorically reiterate, that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is a non-violent group, registered and recognised in several countries across the world; specifically made up of citizens who are constitutionally exercising their globally recognised right to self-determination as extantly enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Enforcement and Ratification) Act Cap A10 LFN 2004, and other international instruments, treaties and charters; and which group has no connection/link whatsoever with the criminal activities in the South-East being perpetrated on our hitherto peaceful land, by some criminal and violent dissidents, who falsely hide under the guise of the Biafra struggle, to perpetuate their atrocious and heinous acts.
“Nevertheless, we shall challenge this misguided and misinformed ranking by the Institute for Economics and Peace, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, before the appropriate fora.
“We are therefore appealing to all concerned institutions to be properly guided, cross check their criteria, facts and indices, before rushing to public space to defame, and demonize an innocuous /non-violent organization legitimately exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to self-determination.
“Let the wise counsel prevail.”