The Defence Headquarters has branded the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a “militant terrorist organisation’’ and urged parents to dissuade their wards from joining the group.
In a statement in Abuja on Friday, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, the Director, Defence Information (DDI), therefore, restated the commitment of the Armed Forces to confront “all security challenges facing the country.’’
Enenche also assured of the protection of lives and property in all parts of the country by the military. He said that the IPOB posed security challenge and had been metamorphosing from one stage to another.
“After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organisation is non-violent is not true.
“Hence, the need to bring to public awareness the true and current state of IPOB. In this regard, some of their actions, clandestinely and actively, that have been terrorising the general public include:
“The formation of a Biafra Secret Service, claimed formation of Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.
“Militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles, among others) on a military patrol on Sept. 10, 2017.
Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on Sept. 11, 2017 and also attempt to snatch their rifles.
“Attack by IPOB members on a military check point on Sept. 12, 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle.
“From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wish to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation,’’ the DDI said.’
…Military desperate to eliminate Kanu’s househould, IPOB leader’s BROTHER cries out
From: OKEY SAMPSON, Aba
The family of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has described Thursday’s invasion of their country home at Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, the Abia State capital as barbaric, and an “Operation kill everything visible”.
Speaking on telephone with Saturday Sun, the younger brother of the IPOB leader, Emmanuel Kanu said what the military did on Thursday amounted to not only desecration of the Igbo traditional institution as exemplified by the raid and ransacking their father’s palace, but also killing with impunity.
Describing the soldiers’ invasion of their father’s palace as barbaric, Emmanuel said if it were in a clime where the rule of law prevails, since his brother has a pending case at a Federal High court, the military should have waited for the court to adjudicate on the matter.
“What the army did is barbaric and despicable; it is killing with impunity. Nnamdi Kanu has a case to answer in court and in between that, the military took it upon themselves to come and assassinate him, that means Nnamdi Kanu is justified. They should have allowed the court to decide his case instead of trying to kill him. And I want to let the whole world know that in spite of what happened, he will still keep his date with the court.”
Emmanuel who could not fathom why the army could be so brutal on unarmed civilians alleged that in the morning of the same Thursday, soldiers killed two of their members directly opposite Government House, Umuahia and took their bodies away.
“Again, yesterday (Thursday) evening, they (soldiers) and MOPOL men came to our compound in their numbers, besieged us and massacred people. As I speak with you, we are still picking up more dead bodies within the environment, so the number of the dead by now is more than 22 and we are fishing out more bodies as well.
“They are claiming they never touched my dad, how come my father can not walk appropriately as we talk. They fired straight into our father’s sitting room, they fired indiscriminately, killed and wounded some people. My father’s palace is messed up with blood, it is only in Biafra land they will so desecrate the palace of a royal father because they believe anything can happen here and nobody will say or do anything. Our father sustained waist injury as a result of the attack.
“The Nigerian army said they are on operation Python Dance in the South East, but the operation soldiers carried out at our home yesterday (Thursday) was ‘Operation kill everything visible.’ They killed our dog, even chickenS were not speared. They invaded everywhere and made away with my brother’s personal belongings including money and certificates.”
Describing the soldiers that carried out the attack as villains, the IPOB leader’s brother said the real heroes were those they killed. “Killing unarmed people does not make the soldiers heroes but those they killed are the real heroes. You become a hero when you challenge somebody with the same position with you, with the same level of firearms, that’s when you become a hero, not going about killing people who are unarmed. What Nnamdi Kanu is preaching about Nigeria even affect the soldiers that were sent to come and kill him.
“What the Nigerian government or their military does not know is that the attack at our country home would not dampen Nnamdi Kanu or IPOB’s quest to actualize Biafra, rather it will serve as a boost. IPOB led by Kanu is a non-violent movement, Nnamdi Kanu cannot be afraid because he has not done anything wrong to anybody, what he is fighting for is freedom for his people so, I don’t know why anybody would want to kill him.”
He urged IPOB members to remain resolute and non-violent in their actions which he said has been what their leader had been preaching. He added that they should focus on the goal of the agitation which he said is far more important than what they are seeing now.
… AFENIFERE, MASSOB, AGBAKOBA , OZEKHOME,OTHERS REACT
BY TUNDE THOMAS, VINCENT KALU & GEOFFREY ANYANWU
The declaration of Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a militant terrorist group yesterday by the Defence Headquarters has drawn mixed reactions from some prominent Nigerians and groups.
In his reaction, human rights lawyer, Chief Olisa Agbakoba SAN, said the statement by the Defence Headquarters branding IPOB as a militant terrorist organisation, was unfortunate.
According to him: “It is not a helpful situation in the context of the problem going on in the country to brand IPOB as a terrorist organisation. Nigeria is not in civil war. Rather than do that, I would have thought that the best way to resolve the crisis was to create a framework of diplomatic response, irrespective of whether IPOB is doing the right or the wrong thing. “I’m not even sure that the army is the one doing this declaration; it is more of something that lies on the table of the president. It is not in the place of the army, they have no right to make such .
“Army has made a political statement, and that is not its duty. Its duty is purely prescribed by the Armed Forces Act. You don’t set your house on fire because your son slapped you, you need to have framework of peace, stability and harmony to resolve whatever the crisis is, rightly or wrongly.
“Whether IPOB is wrong or right, to declare them a militant terrorist organisation, only helps to make them more determined to do whatever it is they want to do, whether what they do is right or wrong.
“I totally disagree and it is an unfortunate statement that the army made”.
While supporting Agbakoba’s position, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere berated the Defence Headquarters for declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation.
While saying that the military’s declaration was not in the best interest of the country, Afenifere speaking through its spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin insisted that government should have exploreD dialogue option instead of resorting to the use of force in order to find a solution to Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB’s matter.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should show more traits of a statesman rather than posing the image of somebody that believe only in the use of force in finding solution to any national problem. He is much unlike late President Umaru Yar’Adua who showed more maturity while dealing with the problem of militants in the Niger-Delta then. Why declared IPOB a terrorist group when the organisation has not engageD in any acts of violence?, President Buhari should tread carefully , otherwise his actions may lead to the break-up of Nigeria’’.
Describing the on-going Operation Python Dance by the military in the South-East as provocative and unnecessary, Afenifere noted that the military operation can lead to reprisal attacks in Northern parts of the country.
“Buhari met a united Nigeria, he should not let it be during his own time that the nation will break up. There is nothing dialogue can’t resolve. Buhari should not take any action that can lead to balkanization of Nigeria. Buhari should not bite more than he can chew. Already he is battling Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, in the South-South, he is also having a running battle with the militants in the Niger-Delta. In the Middle-Belt, Fulani herdsmen and farmers crisis is also there . All these should give Buhari enough headache , why add another one to them? He should engage in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to use of force to solve national problems’’,Odumakin noted.
Afenifere’s view was shared by constitutional lawyer and rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, who said he doesn’t believe the instances cited by the Defence Headquarters provided any justification for declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation.
He said: “The last time I checked, I can’t remember any of such groups operating in the country being declared terrorist organisations.
The herdsmen who go on rampage daily, maiming, raping, and killing innocent Nigerians, what about those responsible for the Agatu massacre, Shiites massacre, Southern Kaduna pogrom, indiscriminate killings, brazen quit notices givers across Nigeria, etc, all these people have never been arrested, prosecuted, let alone being proscribed and stigmatized as terrorist organisations. “We surely have and operate two sets of laws for two sets of peoples in Nigeria. Nigeria, we hail thee. A government should be seen to be fair to all component parts of Nigeria”, he stated.
While declaring the Defence Headquarters’s action as unacceptable, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra ( MASSOB],in a statement signed by its leader, Uchenna Madu insisted that nowhere in the world would non-violent people be branded terrorists. “This deliberate and shameless declaration on a legitimate and international registered organization is a subtle sign of another plan to continue their military onslaughts against the non violent and peaceful citizens of Biafra.
Neither Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB or even MASSOB are the problem of Nigeria, rather it is Hausa-Fulani Islamic agenda backed by the British government that are the headaches of Nigeria, he said.
However in his own view, former Lagos Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, Federal government deserve kudos for declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation.
“President Buhari deserve commendation for deciding to take the bull by the horn. What Kanu has been doing with IPOB clearly amounts to acts of terrorism. No sensible leader or government would fold its arms while somebody like Kanu want to set Nigeria on fire . Kanu and IPOB want to plunge Nigeria into crisis, and I like the way Federal government and the military are handling the issue. It is the right decisions they are taking’,he declared.
Govs, Igbo leaders ban IPOB in South East
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
The South East governors yesterday came down hard on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), proscribing all activities of the group in the region.
The governors under the aegis of South East Governors Forum placed the ban after their emergency meeting with the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Abubakar; Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo; and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, held at the Enugu Government House, to review the security situation in the region.
The South East Governors’ Forum Chairman and governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Dave Umahi, who read the communique after the meeting, said everyone invited to the crucial meeting attended except the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, who he said sent in his apologies.
Kanu led by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, had met with the governors in Enugu penultimate week after which yesterday’s parley was scheduled but which the IPOB leader gave indication to shun on Thursday.
The governors, therefore, advised all aggrieved groups in the region to articulate their positions on all national issues and submit them to the committee of governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members from the region through the chairman of the forum.
The governors also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the military currently on Operation Python Dance in the South East and allow the police to perform their role of maintaining law and order.
The governors also disclosed that they have taken concrete steps to protect the lives and property of non-indigenes in the South East in the face of the current tension in the zone.
“We are in touch with the Northern Governors Forum, they have assured us of the safety of all our people living in the North and we have also planned for exchange of visits between the governors and to re-enforce the confidence of Nigerians in this respect.
“In keeping with our earlier position, we wish to assure Nigerians that full investigation is ongoing on all allegations of killings, maiming and other unlawful conduct in the South East zone within this period. The governors and the security agencies are in agreement that appropriate action will be taken against anyone found culpable,” they said.
The governors also voted for one Nigeria, insisting on restructuring.
“South East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members do hereby reinforce their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria.
“We also reinforce our desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian, “ the forum said.
They also reiterated their earlier position that the November 18 Anambra governorship election must hold as scheduled.
Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu ((Abia), Willie Obiano ((Anambra), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi ) attended the meeting while Imo deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere represented Governor Rochas Okorocha.
IPOB, Army clash: America calls for calm
THE United States Government has called for calm as violence between the Nigerian Army and the se- cessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, continues to cause tension in the South-East.
The US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria said in a tweet, yesterday, that it was joining well meaning Nigerians to sue for peace.
The US, tweeted with #OutofManyOne, a mes- sage which promotes unity in diversity.
The tweet reads, “The US Mission to Nigeria joins the calls of Nigerian leaders and citizens across the country for an end to violence.
The Nigerian Army had during the week deployed soldiers in the South-East, in an exercise code- named, ‘Operation Python Dance’, which seeks to curb violent crimes in the region.
The soldiers, have, however, had several clashes with IPOB members, leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties in Abia and Rivers states.
…‘We’re not terrorist group’
FROM CHIDI NNADI, ENUGU
THE Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has de- nied being a militant terrorist organisation, as declared by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday. The IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Power- ful, who stated this in a statement issued to newsmen in Enugu, accused security operatives of making fran- tic efforts to label their group a terrorist organisation.
He alleged that security operatives, especially the, “Nigerian Army and police personnel drafted to Ka- nu’s house have planted bombs in and around Nnam- di Kanu’s house in Isiama Afaraukwu, Ibeku Umua- hia, Abia State”, in a bid to paint IPOB in bad light.
He wondered why after the alleged attacks on Kanu’s house and nobody was allowed to come near the compound, bombs are allegedly planted, “in his compound in order to create the impression or tag our leader Kanu and IPOB members terrorist group.”
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