Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Barely one week after allegedly ranking the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world, Global Terrorism Index, GTI, has issued clarifications over the purported ranking.
GTI in a post published on its website, “https://www.visionofhumanity.org,” on March 27, retracted its earlier position on IPOB.
It described IPOB as a pro-Biafra movement seeking the establishment of the Independence of Biafra.
The post entitled Global Terrorism Index statement regarding Indigenous People of the Biafra (IPOB) & the Global Terrorism Index, said “it is important therefore, to differentiate between the peaceful activities of the group and its alleged involvement in violent activity.”
The post read in full: “Statement regarding Indigenous People of the Biafra (IPOB) & the Global Terrorism Index.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Aloy Ejimakor, Special Counsel to IPOB Leader, in a press statement later, demanded media houses which had published the earlier ranking to also publish the clarification.
The statement read in part: “A few days ago, several news outlets published a story to the effect that 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 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.
“In the interest of balanced reporting and as of a right of reply, I hereby request all media outlets which had previously published the story of the ranking to also publish this press release. Same request is made to media outlets which might not have published it previously.”