The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) has retracted its earlier announcement of ranking the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world.
GTI report published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), had ranked the Nnamdi Kanu-led IPOB as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world in 2022.
In a statement on its website on Monday, GTI referred to IPOB as a pro-Biafra secessionist movement and not a terrorist group.
The statement was titled: “Statement regarding Indigenous People of the Biafra (IPOB) and the Global Terrorism Index.”
It read, “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.
“Institute for Economics and Peace.”
Reacting to the latest report, Kanu’s special counsel, Aloy Ejimakor said different protests and criticisms by people for labelling IPOB as a terrorist group by Institute for Economics and Peace affected the change.
“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,” Ejikamor said.
According to a statement he released, Kanu’s lawyer said, “Many other persons known to me, especially in America, including particularly the American Military Veterans of Igbo Descent (AVID), which is blessed 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.”