The Nigerian Army (NA) says it has uncovered the antics of sponsors of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN) to peddle falsehood and disinformation to remain relevant in the South East.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement, titled, “Conspiracy Pretext Employed by IPOB/ESN, a Hoax” on Saturday in Abuja.
Nwachukwu said the recent allegation by one Kalu Odinakachi that DMI and DSS created and funded Biafra National Guard (BNG/UGM) to enforce the Sit-at-Home order in a bid to discredit IPOB/ESN was one of such scheming, currently in the media domain.
He clarified that the spurious allegation was unfounded and could be absolutely described as a hoax.
According to him, the Nigerian army would not like to elevate such purveyors of disinformation and propaganda, but it is expedient to put on record, that in recent times, the activities of IPOB/ESN have undoubtedly assumed a violent dimension.
“This unimaginable level of violence is oiled with propaganda and disinformation to whip-up sentiments and draw sympathy from unsuspecting citizens in the region.
“For the records, the proscribed organisation has in recent times foisted a sit-at-home order to show sympathy for their self acclaimed leader.
“This was greeted with violence, orchestrated destruction of public installations and facilities, arson, as well as looting of shops and malls in the region, to demonstrate their criminal potency.
“They defiled the sanctity of the highly revered traditional institution of Ndigbos by recklessly murdering their own traditional leaders.
“These spineless and irresponsible actions targeted at the very people they claim they want to liberate, clearly unmask their heinous and directionless agenda for Ndigbos,” he said.
Nwachukwu said that after realising the futility, hollowness and public rejection of their violent agitation, they resorted to twisting the narrative in the region to galvanise local support.
He said the wild allegation that BNG and UGN were an overt operation by the DMI and DSS was not only laughable, but remains largely illusive and a ploy to diminish the public support the Nigerian army is enjoying in the ongoing exercises.
“In his blatant display of ignorance, Odinakachi failed to realise that such designation as DMI has since ceased to exist in the NA.
“These criminal elements with their cohorts must come to terms with the reality of the ongoing Exercise GOLDEN DAWN and turn themselves in to security agencies or be ready to face the consequences of their lawlessness.
“More grotesque is the narrative peddled by these merchants of propaganda, in respect of IPOB/ESN gunmen recently eliminated by troops in a shootout at Ekwulobia Roundout in Aguata Local Government Area.
“These unscrupulous elements insinuated that those taken out were Fulanis, an outrageous claim that should be disregarded in its entirety,” he said.
The Army spokesperson said the recent antics are apparently another failed attempt to attribute the criminal activities of IPOB/ESN, to a third party and feign innocence is an indication of a visionless group totally devoid of integrity.
He urged the people of South East to go about their normal businesses, adding that efforts had been stepped up to rid the region of criminal elements masquerading as BNG and UGM.
“We encourage members of the public to provide actionable information to security agencies as the Exercises progress,” he added.