Recall that the Nigerian army’s Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, had pronounced that IPOB was a terrorist organisation after a reported clash between military personnel and IPOB members in Umuahia, Abia state. Maj.-Gen. Enenche had given reasons for pronouncing IPOB a terrorist organization to include that IPOB members used “stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles, among others on a military patrol on 10 September 2017.
Further on the proscription, the federal government had equally and still insists that IPOB is a terrorist organisation, maintaining that the group had printed its currency and was extorting money from innocent citizens of Nigeria. It gave these reasons for backing IPOB’s categorization as a terrorist organisation, maintaining, however, that not even the Fulani herdsmen reported to have clashed with and killed farmers, raped women and destroyed farm lands could be placed on the same level with IPOB which it said had carved out a territory of its own within Nigeria.
In fact, the federal government had even said it had begun processes of blocking foreign sources of funding to IPOB. Nigeria had equally accused both the governments of France and the United Kingdom of being in support and as well as funding IPOB’s activities in Nigeria. But the two governments of France and UK denied the allegation.
Recall also that barely 24 hours after the Nigerian army pronounced IPOB a terrorist organisation, the President of the Nigerian 8th Senate, Dr. Saraki condemned the categorisation of IPOB as a terrorist organisation, saying it was unconstitutional. Saraki had said that only a legislation from the Nigerian National Assembly could make such a pronouncement valid. Dr. Saraki had said, “I also wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Governors of the South-east states and the categorization of the group as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the Nigerian military are unconstitutional and does not follow due process. “Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect. I am sure the President will do the needful by initiating the right process.” After Saraki’s comments, the Federal Government of Nigeria had immediately taken its quest for IPOB’s proscription to court where it obtained a court’s order proscribing IPOB.
The order the federal government obtained from a Federal High Court in Abuja, ruled that IPOB is a terrorist organisation. But IPOB had equally approached the court, demanding it to quash the order, saying the court order that said it was a terrorist organisation was a black market order. It argued that the said order violated its right to freedom of assembly, expression and a right to demand freedom as enshrined in the United Nation’s charter on Human Rights as well as other national and international rights treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.
Despite its argument, the Nigerian government maintains IPOB is a terrorist organisation, especially with the signing of the group’s proscription by the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.
While the Federal Government of Nigeria has proscribed IPOB and labeled it a terrorist organization, the US government, through her spokesman for the American Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, said it does not see IPOB as a terrorist organization.
It also said, although US is strongly in support of a peaceful resolution of internal crisis in Nigeria, however, under the United States’ laws, IPOB does not fit in as a terrorist organization.
Read more; Vanguardngr.com
Categories: Igbo news