The Nigerian Army has said that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)/Eastern Security Network (ESN) are “terrorists”, contrary to the “freedom fighters” impression they struggle to create in the South East. This was as the Nigerian Army noted that reports of rescue of a newly- commissioned officer being held by the groups are “unsubstantiated”, insisting that the female officer is still being held by her abductors.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu made the clarification on Friday while reacting to suggestions that its personnel have rescued Lieutenant PP Johnson, a female officer who was abducted on Monday 26 December 2022.
The abducted officer Nwachukwu was visiting her grandmother in Aku-Okigwe community of Imo State, shortly after completion of her Cadet training and subsequent commissioning as a Lieutenant into the Nigerian Army. “Video footage of her abduction had emerged in the social media where her abductors claimed her abduction was in line with their fight for Biafra against the Nigerian State. “It is instructive that the officer’s circumstance as a woman and a Nigerian citizen of South Eastern extraction did not dissuade her abductors from dehumanizing her in their mindless attempt to commit atrocities under the guise of fighting for Biafra.
“This evidently is another pointer to the myriad of crimes being unleashed by IPOB/ ESN on Ndigbo, the very people they claim to be fighting for their emancipation. “It should therefore be crystal clear to those who are still in doubt of the true status of these groups, that IPOB/ESN are terrorists, masquerading as freedom fighters and do not deserve the support of anyone particularly the good people of South East Nigeria”. Nwachukwu added thus: “The NA wishes to state that the information making the rounds is unsubstantiated as the officer is yet to be released or rescued from her abductors. “Likewise, the video footage being circulated and associated with the rescue claim is an old video of the arrest of a suspect earlier affected by troops.