- Governor Dave Umahi has disclosed that some criminals in the southeast are in search of identity for cover-up
- The Ebonyi governor on Thursday, April 22, said this is why the bandits want to be known as members of IPOB and the ESN
- Umahi added that the criminals really want to carry out crimes in the guise of proscribed groups
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Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has claimed that most criminals in the southeast perpetrate crimes and claim they are members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Umahi said the gunmen do this because they believe they will get the sympathy of Nigerians for belonging to IPOB and the ESN, both of which are rumoured and alleged to be persecuted by the federal government, The Cable reports.
According to Sahara Reporters, he explained that there are bandits and terrorists in all parts of Nigeria, but that these persons are in desperate need of a name or a designation for themselves.
Moreover, Umahi said this somewhat works for them because both groups have openly denied claims that they are into terrorism.
“The truth of what is happening is that there are bandits everywhere; there are cultists everywhere. What happens now in the South-East is that criminals who may not necessarily be members of IPOB and ESN, will go and commit crimes and they need a name.
“So it’s safer for them to say they are members of ESN, and IPOB so that the persecution of IPOB and ESN by the Federal Government will cover them."
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom had disclosed that it offers asylum to those who need it in accordance with its international obligations.
The UK government made the disclosure following an inquiry by The Punch newspaper about the report that it was considering offering asylum to members of IPOB and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
The federal government had stated that it would be disrespectful for the UK to grant asylum to secessionist groups.