IPOB, OPC similar to Boko Haram — Dambazau

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A former Chief of Army Staff, Abdulrahman Dambazau, has lumped the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) together with Boko Haram terrorist group.

Dambazau said the two regional groups clamouring for self-determination and the Boko Haram insurgents share similarities.
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 stressed that both groups are exhibiting features similar to that of Boko Haram when the insurgent group was in its inchoate stage 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 strengthened in order to live up to the responsibility of dousing 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.”

Dambazzau is the second Nigerian of Northern extraction that will make this claim.
Popular Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, had said something similar about two months ago in his bid to defend the activities of bandits terrorising the Northwest region.

Gumi had asserted during an interview that “those agitating for Biafra and Oduduwa Republics are not different from the Boko Haram sect terrorists.”