By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Federal Government has said the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB or its militant affiliate, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, cannot stop the forthcoming elections in the South – East part of the country.
The Minister of Defence Staff, Minister of Defence, retired Gen. Bashir Magashi, said this on Monday while responding to a question on declaration by the Simon Ekpa led faction of IPOB that election will not be allowed to hold in South-East.
Already, Finland based Ekpa had declared the period of the election a public holiday in the Southeast.
“The armed forces is working in concert with the Police and other security agencies to ensure that the menace of criminalities from IPOB and Eastern Security Network are eliminated,” the Minister said.
The Minister spoke Abuja at the 25th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’ (PMB) Scorecard Series.
He assured Nigerians that the 2023 elections would hold peacefully in the South-East states and in all parts of the country in spite of threats by criminal elements.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor said no person or group can stop the polls from holding in any part of Nigeria, including the South east.
1Irabor also corroborated the position of the Defence Minister that “no territory of Nigeria is under the control of the Boko Haram or any other terrorists group.”
He said all communities in the North-East zones of the country had been liberated from the criminal elements.
Irabor said the military was on the mission for final cleansing of the North-East region from terrorists.
He reiterated that the fact that the military had not ceased operation in the region did not mean that the terrorists were still occupying any portion of the nation’s territory.