Published on Sep 18, 2017 Yusuf Ozi-Usman
It was a rude shock for even the people in the South East to hear the Nigerian Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki accusing the nation’s army for declaring the Nnamdi Kanu led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
The shock was pronounced amongst the governors of the South East and that of Rivers State, who themselves have proscribed the same IPOB.
According to Senate Saraki, due process was not followed before IPOB was either declared terrorist group or proscribed.
When the news first filtered in that Senator Saraki said such thing, I dismissed it as the handiwork of his political enemies who were out to smear his hard earned names over the years.
But, coming to terms with the reality, one feels disturbed that Senator Saraki who had been silent all the while when Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB have been threatening not to allow legitimate election held anywhere in the Southeast, including the one coming in Enugu shortly, suddenly appeared on the scene when IPOB was receiving the result of what it had planted.
In any case, what Senator Saraki implied was that IPOB was established legally and its activities were enshrined in the constitution: that it was constitutional for Nnamdi Kanu to flagrantly violate bail conditions and remain above the law.
That it was constitutional for Nnamdi Kanu to engage in using all sort of uncultured abusive words on President Muhammadu Buhari in particular and Nigeria in general.
In other words, when Senator Saraki said that the actions taken against the IPOB were unconstitutional, he was simply saying that the group had been operating constitutionally.
It was even more suspicious for Senator Saraki to fault the military in declaring IPOB as a terrorist group.
In addition to the reasons given by the military, what are the features of terrorists?
They threaten the peace and tranquillity of the neighbours : they constitute themselves into authority outside the legally recognised government, they train themselves in military service: they arm themselves with weapons such as stones, cutlasses, knives, guns, etc: they attack conventional security formations: they disobey the constituted authorities and operate a different form of government, etc.
Anybody in Nigeria in the last two years would agree that IPOB members have trod on these dangerous path. In fact, this is the same path that Boko Haram followed to the prolonged deadly battle that is still being fought in the Northeast. But Senator Saraki, who obviously has been around, did not raise a voice, even when the IPOB was threatening the foundation of this entity called Nigeria.
And he thinks, within his level of reasoning, that IPOB is not qualified to be called terrorists, even without any authority pronouncing it?
I just hope that you are not one of those whom information minister, Lai Mohammed, fingered as sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu and his dangerous group?
Senator Saraki definitely cannot cry more than the bereaved, for, the South East governors and Rivers State governor that proscribed the group knew where the shoes pinch than him.
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