A coalition has commended the federal government, the Nigerian Army and the chief of justice of the Federal High Court Abdul Kafarati over the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
The coalition said the order of the Federal High Court against the IPOB effectively designated any activity carried by the group as act of terrorism.
The Concerned Citizen Coalition of Nigeria (CCCN) said the judgment against the IPOB is a vindication of concerns raised by the Nigerian Army that the troops were facing pure terrorism in the south east region.
The coalition also said the ruling put to rest all controversies over “the nature of IPOB whose criminal activities have no connection with agitation for a fairer share of the nation’s resources.”Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja onThursday, September 21, CCCN through its national president Musa Omale urged the Nigerian Army to remain committed to the ideals of democracy in carrying out its duties of defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
Omale also commended some Nigerians who have demonstrated patriotism during these times.
He said: “It is important we are not taking the Boko Haram route again when people initially maintained an air of indifference because they chose to view the terror group from political, religious and ethnic perspectives.
“He further called on the Nigeria police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately arrest all known members of the IPOB and their leader Nnamdi Kanu.
“There are several videos showing the faces of these terrorists particularly the ones documenting the launch of their militant arm, the Biafra Secret Service.The terror group had boasted of having its cells outside of the south east, so attention should not only be focused onthe area alone but the dragnet should be all over the place.
Security agencies must also put the other separatist groups in the country under watch so that IPOB members do not migrate to such entities to continue terrorizing citizens.
We appeal to the government to educate Nigerians, especially media practitioners, on the implications of advancing terrorist propaganda. The Anti-Terror law has strict provisions for anyone that engages in this,”Omale said.
Noting that ignorance is no excuse, Omale called for the sensitization of theNigerian populace on the provisions of the Terrorism Act.He also warned that stakeholders should stop publishing content from the group or its members while the IPOB’s foreign connections should
“IPOB’s foreign connections should be probed and strongly worded communication should be sent to any country found to be hosting the terror group’s cells.
On the domestic front, we urge that the government to begin to attend to legitimate agitations that are presented through recognized representatives.
Our counsel at this point is that we should not make the mistake of localizing the call for fair treatment to one ethnic group. All the ethnic groupings in the country each have one grievance or the other.
They should all be looked into without favoring one group over the other so that no one would again use situations that are collectively deplored as excuses to start terror groups,”Omale added.
We earlier reported that lawyers representing theIPOB stormed the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, September 21.
The lawyers in their scores asked the court to squash the Wednesday, September 20, order proscribing it as a terror group.The lawyers as described the order made by the court as ‘black market order’.