By Sunny A. Ijomah
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) has made a clarification regarding its ranking of the proscribed 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 Biafra separatist group as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world in 2022.
Some Online news, however, reported that it could not ascertain the yardstick used by the organization to label IPOB as the 10th deadliest terror group in the world.
According to a report chart, the Economic Intelligence posted on its Twitter handle, IPOB recorded 57 deaths from 40 attacks with 16 persons injured.
However, GTI in a statement on Monday, March 27, 2023, titled: “Statement Regarding Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) & the Global Terrorism Index,” published on its website retracted its earlier report.
The statement reads: “The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a pro-Biafra Secessionist Movement based in South-East 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 & Peace,” the statement reads:
It had been reported that the GTI report published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), had listed the Islamic State (IS) and its affiliates, as the most vicious and deadliest terrorist groups in the world in 2022 and in the last eight years.
They were followed by Al-Shabaab, ISK and Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM).
In the chart report, IS killed 1,045 in 410 attacks with 644 injured. Alshabab killed 784 in 315 attacks with 1,016 injured.
Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISK) killed 498 in 141 attacks with 832 injured. Jamaat Nusrat Al-lslam wal Muslimeen (JNIM) killed 279 in 77 attacks with 215 injured. Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) killed 233 in 30 attacks with 113 injured.
In reaction to the update, Aloy Ejimakor, Esq, special counsel for Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB on Monday said in a statement, “A few days ago, several news outlets published a story to the effect that the Indigenous People of Biafra (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.
‘The clarification states in part: ‘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.