Abuja, Nigeria. Sept 18th. In a press statement released today, Nigeria Senate stated that the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, is not a terror group and the proscription by Governors is also unconstitutional and of no effect. full text of the statement signed by Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON is below:
September 18, 2017 Saraki: National Assembly Will Investigate Crisis in South-east
1. Following the clash between the military and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), I hereby call for calm and restraint by all Nigerians so that we would all jointly find the right solution to the current problem rather than worsening the situation.
2. Our brothers and sisters in the South-east, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquility and go about their lawful business. This situation will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger.
3. At this point, Nigerians outside the South-east who have worked to ensure that the situation does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation. I therefore call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.
4. It is also important that commentators and purveyors of information on all media platforms should be conscious of the need, at all times, to maintain the unity of the country. Therefore, they must refrain from circulating information that has the potential for aggravating the situation. We should all realize, as individuals and as a collective, that Nigeria is all we have and it is in our individual and collective interests that we do not stoke the fire of situation and fan the ember of discord through the message we are spreading. We must all protect and strengthen our country rather than contributing to her collapse and disintegration.
5. 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. This will go a long way in demonstrating to the world at large that we are a country that operate by laid down process under every circumstance. So, those who have been hammering on this point should maintain their cool.
6. We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country. However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasizes respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.
7. Also, it is my view that we should not over-stretch the military. We need to protect our military against dissipation of their fighting strength. And this means we need to strengthen the police and equip them with the capacity to deal with civil situation. That is why we, in the National Assembly, are already reviewing the Police Act and also looking at the possibility of enabling other para-military agencies to help in curbing civil unrest and maintenance of law and order.
Photo: Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. President of the Senate
8. I want to also make it clear that the National Assembly intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the South-east. We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover up. We intend to lay the facts bare.
9. On a long term, we want to remind Nigerians that the reason for embarking on constitution review by the National Assembly was to enable us look into issues that are agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension among us. We have promised that the exercise would be continuous. We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures. The Eighth National Assembly, on resumption, will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong. I appeal to all our people to always direct their grievances to the right channels.
10. Let me further reiterate the need for all leaders of thought – political, religious and traditional – to continue to engage with our people on the need to maintain peace and be our brothers’ keepers.
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON
President of the Senate
September 18, 2017″
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Is Not A Terror Group – EU Insists
Brussels, Belgium. Sept 18th: The European Union (EU) yesterday, condemned and rejected the unilateral classification of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian Armed Forces. The Defence Headquarters of the Nigeria Army on Friday declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, claiming that its members had become violent and a security threat in the country.
But the EU’s condemnation followed reported video footages of the brutal and inhuman activities of the Nigerian Army in the South-East region of Nigeria.
The videos showed various scenes of the invasion of communities, torture and killings of IPOB members, which have gone viral since the Nigeria Army launched its Operation Python Dance II to clamp down on the group agitating for self determination.
President of the EU Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude junker, who made the view of the Commission known, openly warned the Nigerian security personnel against what he described as their ill hearted and unprofessional handling of democratic issues and the rights of the people. Junker cautioned the Nigerian military chiefs that they must employ every democratic tenet to handle issues that concern the agitations of the citizens in Nigeria.
“It is the people’s right to agitate and make a request from their government; self-determination is a right enshrined in the United Nation Charter. The people of Biafra have every right to request for a referendum, they have been in this struggle for a while now they have never killed or shot a bullet instead they are the victims of attacks and murder.
“The entire EU hereby condemns the brutal attack on IPOB members and leadership under the pretentious disguise of a military exercise (Operation Python Dance). The Nigerian military is warned to adopt democratic tenets in handling citizens.
The EU will not sit and watch things go undemocratic in the largest economy of the West African region,” he warned.
Junker promised to raise the issues concerning the peoples’ request for a referendum among the caucus of the EU, stating that the Biafra request for a referendum was not different from that of the Catalonians in Spain and the Scots in Britain.
He said the Nigeria government must rise above the suppression of voices of dissent and handle issues with every tenet of maturity and democracy.
Earlier, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu had petitioned the European Union on the on-going military operation in southeast region of Nigeria.
In the petition, Kanu accused the army of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of the civilian populace in the southeast He also petitioned the European Union High Commission, the Presidents of United States of America, Russia, Israel, United Kingdom and France.
In the petitioned dated September 14, the leader of the separatist group accused the Nigerian military of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of civilian populace in the southeast.
The letter written by the counsel to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, was addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the European Union High Commission, the presidents of United States of America, Russia and Israel.
Kanu in his letter called for the immediate intervention of the UN, the EU, the US and these other countries on the invasion of the military in the region.
Photo: European union country flags
He urged the comity of nations to prevail on the Nigerian government to suspend further military action in the South-East states of the country and withdraw ‘the rampaging troops’ from the region.
The letter, which had attachment to it of videos and photographs of victims of the alleged army attack, stated that the hostility against the IPOB members has escalated to other neighbouring states resulting in bloody casualties. “Unarmed civilians largely made up members of the Indigenous People of Biafra are now being tortured and murdered in cold blood on a daily basis.