The Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, has revealed that the Defence Headquarters did not declare the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) aterrorist organisation in Nigeria.
However, the latest twist is coming on the heels of therecent declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation by the army.Buratai, who spoke while officially launching the Operation Python Dance 2 in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state in the evening of Monday, September 18, also said the Federal Government took the right steps to contain IPOB.
He further defended the action of the military saying:“You have to get it very clear. First of all, what the Defence Headquarters did was to make pronouncement. It wasn’t a declaration per se.
“But this has given room for the right step to be taken. I think the governmentis doing the right thing“It is not that we are overstepping our bounds. We are still within the limits.
“And I ensure you that what the military said was to set the ball rolling and to bring the awareness to the public that this is what this organization is all about. I’m happy that the government has done the right thing right now.
”He assured the people of the southeast that the security operatives would follow the rule of law and rules of engagement in carrying out the Exercise Egwu Eke 2.
Further speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Governor David Umahi, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, Buratai said the operation was meant to help meet the security need of the country.
“The army have taken into cognizance the security of the people in deployment of it’s personnel for the operation.
“The army is very sensitive to the cultural norms of the people and will abide by all the rules of engagement and code of conduct that have been laiddown which is quite in tandem with the Constitution,”he said.
He added that some of the activities of the exercise would include patrols, indoor battle exercises, civil-military cooperation activities like medical outreach, sanitation, donation of books to schools and others.
He pleaded for the people’s understanding.
On his part, Umahi promised that the people of the state would cooperate with the army throughout the duration of the exercise.
We earlier reported that Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said that the leader of the Indigenous Peopleof Biafra (IPOB)Nnamdi Kanu can be declared wanted by the federal government.
It was gathered that Buratai said only the federal government has constitutional right to declare him wanted if deemed fit.