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2023: IPOB says no plan to disrupt polls, denies attack on INEC facilities




THE Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has said it has no plans to disrupt the 2023 general elections in the South-East.

The group also said it has no interest in the forthcoming election.

IPOB spoke in a statement issued on Monday, December 5, by Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful.

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The secessionist group also dissociated itself and its security outfit, Eastern Security Network (ESN), from attacks on the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State and other parts of the South-East.

IPOB, in the statement, advised security agencies to stop linking it with “senseless” attacks on INEC facilities.

The pro-Biafra movement warned anybody engaging in the destruction of INEC facilities and pretending to be doing so on its behalf to desist from such acts.

“Eastern Security Network (ESN) operatives never attacked the INEC office because we are not interested in this Nigeria’s forthcoming election in 2023. Anyone or group blaming IPOB or ESN for any attack on INEC facilities is under the influence of some powerful drugs.

“IPOB will not spare anybody using our name to disrupt election, and nobody should link us with those who are destroying election materials,” the group said.

The statement further accused security agencies of hoarding information about the true identities of those behind the attacks on INEC facilities.

It claimed government agencies and those attacking INEC facilities are working together to blackmail the organisation.

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“That is why the same security agencies have never arrested any so-called attackers.

“Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has said it several times that he has not asked anyone to carry out any attack on his behalf. Therefore, nobody should link us with the attack on INEC offices.”

The statement noted that IPOB is a civilized and disciplined independence movement.

“We are not criminals, nor are we part of their election thugs.”

The statement accused politicians of recruiting criminals and hoodlums to attack election facilities and blame such on IPOB and ESN.

However, the statement further stressed that no amount of sponsored blackmail against IPOB would stop the agitation for Biafra restoration, adding that it would instead fuel the struggle.

According to the statement, the desperation to link IPOB with attacks on INEC is part of the grand plan by those opposed to Biafra restoration to truncate the project.

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Armed persons on Sunday attacked the INEC office in Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State, making it the seventh attack on the Commission’s facilities within the last four months.

The attack in Oru West occurred three days after another INEC office was attacked in the Orlu Local Government Area of the same Imo State.

Meanwhile, the police in Imo State said gunmen suspected to be members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed wing Eastern Security Network (ESN) were responsible for the attack on the Oru West office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The state police spokesperson Mike Abattam said in Owerri on Sunday, December 4, that the operatives on duty repelled the attack.

Abattam said the gunmen threw Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) into the office from outside the fence.

“The police operatives who engaged the hoodlums professionally inflicted various degrees of injuries on them. Having suffered a huge defeat, the hoodlums retreated, escaping in their vehicle and were given a hot chase by the operatives.”

Attacks on INEC’s offices and facilities have increased in recent weeks.

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