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ASO ROCK WATCH: Will Buhari’s Western allies proscribe IPOB? Two other talking points




President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, called on Nigeria’s Western allies to proscribe alleged secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

We picked two other stories around the Nigerian presidency for your reading pleasure.

1. Proscribing IPOB internationally

President Buhari last week urged Western countries to designate IPOB as a terrorist group, partly, because of its involvement in vandalising oil pipelines and other infrastructure.

Buhari made the call in an interview with Bloomberg, a United States-based publication.

“Criminality and terrorism in oil-producing regions hamper production, and it would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure.
“We urge those same international partners to take additional steps costing them nothing by proscribing IPOB as a terrorist organisation,” he said.

Buhari’s call is in furtherance of a home declaration which seeks to curb IPOB’s influence in South-East Nigeria, and take the wind off the sail of the group’s agitation for an independent territory.

Targeted at limiting IPOB’s growing international clout and visibility, it is doubtful if Buhari’s moves will receive immediate attention, as the rights of people to self-determination is well guaranteed under global conventions.

The call, therefore, queries the commitment of the Buhari administration towards deploying dialogue and exploring a political resolution to the raging conflict.

While the allegations of destruction of pipelines and public infrastructure remain contestable, it is also doubtful that Buhari’s stance will lead to a thaw in rising tensions.

Two other talking points

2. Attacks on churches

On June 22, President Buhari averred that the recent attacks on churches were politically motivated, and targeted at causing religious crises in the country.

This was contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

“We will not let them. The nation will not be distracted or divided by these obviously planned and politically motivated criminal outrages,” Shehu quoted the President as saying.

Read also:ASO ROCK WATCH: What manner of scorecard for Buhari? Two other talking points

“As for the cowards, they will be punished for their crimes. We will bring them to justice. Rest assured that the full might of Nigeria’s formidable security and intelligence forces are involved in that endeavour.”

No doubt, claims of politically motivated killings are rife. However, what remains puzzling is government’s inability to bring culprits to book, and stem the festering sore.

President Buhari must step up his response in the area of protection of lives and property or have his administration branded the worst in terms of the legacy it would bequeath in the management of security challenges.

3. Osinbajo demand on traditional rulers

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on June 19, charged traditional rulers to collaborate with the three tiers of government in order to help tackle the raging insecurity in the country.

The Vice President, represented by the All Progressives Congress (APC), National Counsel, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) in Ibadan stressed that it was important for traditional rulers to join hands together with the Federal and State Governments to ensure the security of lives and property of the people of the South-West.

Osinbajo’s submission is one that has been canvassed overtime. And, as attractive as it appears, it has not yielded the needed fruits.

Unfortunately, most traditional rulers are helpless in the face of the raging insecurity as reports of the abduction, and killing of some of them litter the media space.

More critical is the absence of a constitutional role for the traditional rulers in the 1999 Constitution. This gap has, in no small measure, impacted their contributions in security management.

It must be acknowledged though that traditional rulers remain a big source of intelligence, and channel in dealing with the criminal elements who use mostly communities as their breeding nest.

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