The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Sunday said it does not plan to declare a sovereign state of Biafra by force.
It said it would continue to push for independence through peaceful means, including a referendum.
IPOB, which announced the launch of a regional security outfit, said it has not floated an “army” but a guard in the mould of Amotekun in the Southwest.
Its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said:
“Nigerian security agents are advised to refrain from any harassment or confrontation with the outfit because it’s not after them but out to deal with terrorists rampaging our communities.
“IPOB has no plan to forcefully declare Biafra but is rather working hard towards the restoration of Biafra through a referendum in accordance with international laws.
“We have not floated the Biafra Army but a mere regional security outfit in response to the yearnings of our people.”
Powerful said the outfit would ensure the safety of the forests and farmlands.
The statement added: “The sole aim and objective of this newly formed security outfit known as Eastern Security Network is to halt every criminal activity and terrorist attack on Biafraland.
“This outfit which is a vigilante group like the Amotekun in the Southwest and the Miyetti Allah security outfit will ensure the safety of our forests and farmlands which terrorists have converted into slaughter grounds and rape fields.
“Since the Southeast and Southsouth governors have failed to float a regional security outfit unlike their counterparts in the Southwest despite the worsening insecurity in the country, we have decided not to wait endlessly while our mothers and sisters are continually raped and slaughtered like fowls by terrorists in our land.
“We can’t watch helplessly while those we are agitating to liberate from bondage are gradually being eliminated by terrorists.
“We, therefore, advise every robber, kidnaper and other criminals to steer clear from Biafra land or brace up for the worst. We must defend Biafra land no matter the price.
“Biafra Security Network personnel will release special phone numbers for people to call whenever there is any case of criminality including kidnapping and robbery activities in the whole of Biafraland.
“Every resident in Biafraland should use the numbers to report any criminal activity anywhere in Biafraland for a prompt response.
“Fulani herdsmen attack on our mothers and sisters must stop in our land with immediate effect. Unnecessary police brutality on innocent citizens also must stop.
“Police and Army checkpoints which have since been converted to extortion points should be dismantled.
“Any attempt to sabotage this Security Network will be stoutly resisted. IPOB is a peaceful movement but ready to defend our land and people no matter the cost.
“We want to make it clear that Eastern Security Network is not a Biafran Army but simply a vigilante group like Amotekun in the West.
“It’s a child of necessity born to cover up the weakness of our political leaders who have lost the courage to protect our people.”