The Indigenous People of Biafra has told the Nigerian Navy that no amount of threat will make it disband the Eastern Security Network.
The IPOB said this in a statement on Monday following the warning to it by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, that the Navy will go after members of the ESN for allegedly attacking security agents in the South East and South South.
Speaking in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB denied the involvement of ESN in the attacks on security operatives as alleged by Gambo.
Powerful said Gambo 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.
He said: “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.
“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.”