The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) says it has floated a security outfit codenamed Eastern Security Network (ESN) to protect the people of Southeast and Southsouth geopolitical zones from herdsmen attack.
The Federal Government of Nigeria had proscribed the IPOB labelling it a terror group.
Emma Powerful, Media And Publicity Secretary of IPOB stated this in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday.
Powerful said the special security network was not an army but a vigilance group in the mold of Amotekun which was operational in the Southwest geopolitical zone.
IPOB said the regions had been in the throes of herdsmen who attack, kill as well as rape old women and young ladies in their farms and forests.
The group accused governors of Southeast and Southsouth states of failure to float a regional security outfit like their counterparts in the Southwest in spite of the worsening insecurity in the country.
He described ESN as a child of necessity born to cover up the weakness of “our political leaders who have lost the courage to protect our people,” while calling on Nigerias security agents to restrain from harassing or confronting.
According to him, the outfit was only meant to deal with terrorists rampaging communities.
“IPOB under the command and leadership of our great leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wishes to announce with delight, that IPOB has floated a special security network to guard and protect the whole of Biafraland from the rampaging Fulani herdsmen terrorists and other criminal groups in our land,” Powerful said.
“ESN is to halt every criminal activity and terrorists attack in Biafraland, the outfit which is a vigilante group like the Amotekun in the South West and the Miyetti Allah security outfit will ensure the safety of our forests and farm lands which terrorists have converted into slaughter grounds and raping fields.
“We have decided not to wait endlessly while our mothers and sisters are continually raped and slaughtered like fowls by terrorists in our land.
“We can’t watch helplessly while those we are agitating to liberate from bondage are gradually being eliminated by terrorists.
“We therefore, advise every robber, kidnapper and other criminals to steer clear from Biafra land or brace up for the worst, we must defend Biafra land no matter the price,” he added.
IPOB also condemned brutality by the police and army in the area and urged them to instead channel their energies to combating insecurity.
The group said it would release distress call numbers to members of the public who were in emergency situations.
“Fulani herdsmen attack on our mothers and sisters must stop in our land with immediate effect. Unnecessary police brutality on innocent citizens also must stop. Police and Army check points which have since been converted to extortion points should be dismantled,” Powerful said.
“Security agencies should stop milking our people of their hard-earned resources, let the check points be set up in the North East where they are in high demand.
He warned that “any attempt to sabotage this Security Network will be stoutly resisted,” adding, “IPOB is a peaceful movement but ready to defend our land and people no matter the cost”.
Powerful noted that the IPOB has no plans to forcefully declare Biafra but is rather working hard towards the restoration of Biafra through a referendum in accordance with international laws.
Video clips of IPOB ESN members on parade had gone viral on the internet but the location of training has not been identified and the presence of the operatives of the outfit were yet to be seen on the street.
In September, 2017, the Federal High Court in Abuja issued a judicial backing to the executive order of President Muhammadu Buhari, outlawing the IPOB and its activities in every part of Nigeria.
The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, granted the order proscribing the group.
It declared that the activities of the group constituted an act of terrorism and illegality.