The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has told the Federal Government that it will not disband its militant arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The secessionist group agitating for the Biafra Republic stated this in a press release made available to newsmen on Monday via its spokesperson, Emma Powerful.
The group’s reaction stems from claims by Nigerian security agencies, that IPOB had camps in the forest and that security forces recently destroyed the camp of IPOB and ESN in forests located in parts of Anambra and other Southeastern states.
But IPOB insisted that it had no camps in forests in the states mentioned, insisting that it was all government propaganda to link any alleged criminal hideouts to IPOB.
While maintaining that such propaganda would be resisted, Powerful added that the existence of ESN has saved the South East from being annexed by rampaging Fulani herdsmen, who have overtaken Benue and Plateau States.
“ESN exists to keep the East safe from the ravages of killer herdsmen now plaguing the entire middle belt and people like them.
“Since the launch of ESN by our Supreme Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the main objective of ensuring the safety of farmlands in the East has been accomplished. Fulani terrorists masquerading as herdsmen have had no locus to operate in our farmlands and territory.
“The mischievous mischaracterisation of the activities of ESN that saved the entire south-east and south-south from the murderous onslaught of killer herdsmen now ravaging Benue State and Plateau axis should not be trivialised by attributing any alleged criminal hideout to ESN.
“ESN Operatives have no criminal camps. We know there is a concerted effort by those seeking the weakening of ESN in order to launch a murderous invasion of the East under the guise of a farmer/herder clash.
“Had it not been for ESN, Fulani terrorists masquerading as herdsmen would have taken Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia States.
“ESN has come to stay with Biafrans and nothing will change the objectives of the outfit,” Powerful stated.
Meanwhile, in another development, Simon Ekpa, the self-proclaimed leader of IPOB, has issued a stern warning to oil-producing companies operating in the South-East region, advising them not to disregard the Monday sit-at-home directive.
Ekpa emphasized that companies should not be misled by circulating reports suggesting the cancellation of the sit-at-home order, hence, those resuming operations would face severe repercussions.
He asserted that the sole authority recognized by the Biafran people to make such a determination lies with the Biafran government in exile.
The Finland-based agitator clarified that the sit-at-home directive will persist until their stipulated demands are satisfied.
Information Nigeria understands that the demands include the release of Nnamdi Kanu and other prerequisites for the autonomy of Biafran territories.
“Good afternoon, good morning Biafrans all over the world.
“This particular message goes to the oil-producing companies in the world operating within Biafran countries from Shell down to the lowest.
“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the expelled criminals in the Biafran movement are circulating to oil companies that there is nothing like sit-at-home.
“I want to put it as a warning, every oil company in the Biafran territory, the only government that is operational, functional and that is legit and to which the Biafran people are loyal to is the Biafran government in exile to which I am the prime minister.
“We have not called off any sit-at-home. We have not canceled the sit-at-home. We have not gotten our freedom. Nnamdi Kanu has not been released. The demand in the letter we wrote to you people has not been met.
“So if anybody comes to you to tell you that the sit at home has been canceled and you start operation, I swear with the spirit of those that died in the 60s that from that day you will not be able to produce or exploit any oil in the Biafran.
“We are going to face all of you from A-Z because of the money you are projecting into the economy of Nigeria that they are using to buy arms and jets to come to bombard us. So, we are going to stop them by stopping you.
“We have not gotten to you but we are coming. So, what I’m trying to say here is that the Biafran government has not canceled the sit-in at home. The sit-at-home continues until the demands in our letter are met.
“Tomorrow (today) being Monday, the oil producing companies, you must make sure you shut down the production until the 18th of this month. And every Monday sit at home.
“If you open, you are going to have the Biafran people to contend with. We own the land, not you. You are exploiting oil from our land. We own it. You don’t own the oil and you don’t own the land. You may have the contract and agreement with the Nigerian government and that is still under review,” he wrote via X on Sunday.