Senate Wades into IPOB/Military Crisis as Ohanaeze Ndigbo Says Pro-Biafra Campaigner Not Terrorist Group

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the Senate would meet with security chiefs to chart a path for resolution of contentious issues engendering tension in the South-east.
This as Igbo socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, held on Saturday that the pro-Brafia group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a terrorist organisation.
The Senate President said that the meeting, expected to hold shortly, would address the tension in the South-east and the skirmishes in Plateau.
A statement on Sunday in Abuja, by Saraki’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged all Nigerians to maintain peace and avoid statements or actions capable of aggravating the tension in parts of the country.
Saraki said that the crises in the country were not unconnected to the economic challenges being faced by citizens.
“The tension in some parts of the country has its roots substantially in the economic situation.
“The nation should be assured that some of the legislative and executive actions taken to address the economic problems are beginning to yield fruits.
“This is why we recently witnessed the rebound of the economy and the exit of the country from recession,” he said.
He called for calm among the people, especially in the South-east and Plateau, saying that the government required the cooperation of everyone in solving all problems.
“I want to appeal to our people to avoid stoking ethnic or religious fires. We should not deepen the fault lines of our nation and place citizens in danger of violence and sustained crises.
“The government requires the support of all Nigerians and we should please give peace a chance. No real development or genuine economic activity can take place in the midst of crisis or tension.
“Investments and development thrive only where there is peace,” Mr. Saraki said.
He advised political, community and religious leaders to take actions that would douse the tension and reassure the people that the best way was for us to live together in peace and harmony.
“All leaders at this point must canvass support for government and preach peace, love and harmony.
“Once again, I plead with our people to avoid taking laws into their hands or antagonizing our neighbours,” he added.
Meanwhile, the highest decision-making organ of the Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Imeobi Ohanaeze, has said the Nigerian military was wrong to label IPOB a terrorist organisation.
The Imeobi said in a 9-point communique it issued at the end of its meeting on Saturday at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel Enugu and signed by Ohanaeze President-General, John Nwodo, and Secretary-General, Uche Okwukwu, that the military’s declaration of IPOB as terrorist body by the defence headquarters did not follow due process.
It noted: “That Imeobi resolved that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation. There are processes under extant national and international laws, especially the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as Amended in 2015 to determine whether a group is or not a terrorist organisation”, the communique said.
The military had two days ago declared IPOB a terrorist organisation after clashes between security operatives and the IPOB members in Aba and Umuahia which led to deaths and injuries.
The clashes followed the launch of operation python dance II by the Army in the South-east region.
The clashes also made the South-east governors proscribe the Nnamdi Kanu-led secessionist group on Friday.

Author: News Editor

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