Just In: IPOB, OPC are just like Boko Haram in Nigeria — Former Army Chief, Dambazzau

Abdulrahman Dambazau, a previous chief of army staff, says the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) share similitudes with Boko Haram.

He said the OPC and IPOB are making attempts to plunge Nigeria into ethnic war.

Speaking on Friday at the inauguration of Army War College Nigeria Course 5/2021 in Abuja, Dambazau said both groups are exhibiting features similar to that of Boko Haram when the insurgent group started out in 2009.

He explained that all three groups operate on the platform of extremism alongside secessionist threats.

“They are all non-state actors; they all have separatist agenda to carve out states out of Nigeria’s territory; they all do not believe in the Nigerian project, its unity and peaceful co-existence just like BH,” Dambazau said.

“They are also beginning their projects by attacking security forces and those they consider their enemies.

“The two groups have been making efforts to ignite nationwide inter-ethnic conflicts through their violent attacks on northern residents or transacting businesses in the south as a quick to realise their dream for a divided Nigeria.

“We see parallels between BH, a religious extreme group and the IPOB and OPC, both ethnic extremist groups. All the three groups operate on the platform of extremism.”

Dambazau, a former minister of interior, advised that the police should be actively involved in dousing the ethnic tension across the country.

“I believe that the multifaceted approach can be adopted and the problem is that we think that every security issue is the military show but we have the administration of justice approach,” he said.

“It is the primary responsibility of the police to maintain law and order and so we need to also strengthen the police to be able to do that aspect.”

TheCable had reported that killings in the south-east tripled after IPOB launched its regional security outfit codenamed Eastern Security Network (ESN).