Following threats by Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, to go after Eastern Security Network (ESN) for allegedly attacking security agents in the South East and South South, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, said it would not succumb to any threat or blackmail to disband the outfit.
Spokesperson for IPOB, Emma Powerful, in a statement in Owerri denied the involvement of ESN in the attacks as alleged by the naval chief.
He said the statement by the naval chief was part of plans to relaunch a manhunt for IPOB members in the South East even when it was common knowledge that the security outfit only operated in the forests and not in cities.
“We have severally stated that ESN is not after security agents, but terrorists rampaging our communities. ESN operates in bushes and not in the cities. Anyone looking for them should go to the forests. We are, however, not surprised that the Nigerian 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.”
He added: “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 its hands and watch terrorists on evil agenda decimate our communities while the government maintains 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 Miyetti Allah Security Network and Hisbah security outfit.
“We, therefore, want to place the Eastern people on alert over the evil plot of the 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,” Powerful said.