Tuesday, September 26, 2023

We mistakenly ranked IPOB among world’s deadliest terror groups: U.S. Institute

Aloy Ejimakor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed IPOB, said that protests from IPOB and various Igbo support groups forced the clarification by the Australian-based Institute.

• March 27, 2023
IPOB(Credit: Nigeria Guardian)
IPOB (Credit: Nigeria Guardian)

The Institute for Economics and Peace has openly admitted its error in profiling the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world in its Global Terrorism Index. 

The GTI report published on March 15, ranked IPOB among the top 10 deadliest terror groups in the world, claiming that the group was responsible for 40 attacks and 57 deaths in 2022. 

In a statement posted on its website on Monday, the institute retracted its earlier report, instead now referring to IPOB as a pro-Biafra secessionist movement and not a terrorist group.

In its statement titled; “Statement regarding Indigenous People of the Biafra (IPOB) & the Global Terrorism Index”, the institute said “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,” the U.S. institute tried to clarify. 

Reacting to the development, Aloy Ejimakor, counsel to Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed IPOB, stated that protests from IPOB and various Igbo support groups forced the clarification by the Australian-based Institute. 

“A few days ago, several news outlets published a story to the effect that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been ranked the deadliest terrorist group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) of the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), based in Australia.

“The publications caused widespread stir and condemnation from many, including my humble self, whereby I had made a viral tweet stating that the ranking was “false”. Others, including the Indigenous People of Biafra, strongly condemned the alleged ranking.

“Many other persons known to me, especially in America, including particularly the American Military Veterans of Igbo Descent (AVID), which is based in America collaborated with me in formally protesting the alleged ranking to the GTI branch office in New York, USA. What we sought was simply a clarification to the effect that there was no such ranking or that the GTI Report was misleading.

“Apparently, in response to these formal protestations and the quantum public condemnations, the GTI (IEP) earlier today reconsidered and published a clarification that did not state, imply, or even suggest indirectly, that it ranked IPOB as the 10th terrorist group in the world,” Mr Ejimakor said. 

He urged media houses that published the previous GTI report, to also publish the retraction in the interest of balanced reporting. 

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