IPOB Removed From Terrorism List As GTI Makes Clarification
A report from the Global Terrorism Index, GTI which ranked the Indigenous People of Biafra among 20 deadliest terror groups of 2022 has been reviewed with the secessionist group removed from the category.
The report had on March 16 stated that IPOB “were responsible for 40 attacks and 57 deaths in 2022, an increase from 26 attacks and 34 deaths the year prior.”
This report came after the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had quashed all the federal government’s terrorism-related charges instituted against the IPOB leader, Kanu and ordered his release from the detention of the Department of State Services.
Reacting to the GTI report at the time, IPOB’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, had described it as “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.”
He had vowed to write to the appropriate authorities for a second look at the designation.
On Monday, the Vision of Humanity, the company that facilitates and hosts the GTI reports retracted its designation of IPOB as a terror group, saying the killings are being attributed to it.
In its revised report seen by our correspondent, it removed IPOB as a terror group while placing it among “20 groups with the largest number of deaths attributed in 2022.”
Its clarification reads: “The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a pro-Biafra secessionist movement based in Southeast Nigeria that aims to establish an independent state of Biafra.
“IPOB was proscribed as a terrorist group by the Nigerian government in 2017. In recent years, IPOB has been linked to several attacks, which have been attributed to its paramilitary wing, the Eastern Security Network (IPOB-ESN).
“The group has not claimed responsibility for any of these attacks.
“It is important therefore to differentiate between the peaceful activities of the group and its alleged involvement in violent activity. We have today updated the Global Terrorism Index 2023 to reflect this necessary clarification.”