The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have described as illegal the recent declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation by Nigerian Defence headquarters.
Both groups argued that the Nigerian military did not have the sole authority to tag anyone or group as a terrorists.
The PDP argued that no organisation, especially the military, can “unilaterally declare any organisation a terrorist” group.
This was stated by the party’s national publicity secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, on Saturday in Abuja. He said that there are certain processes that must be observed in order to declare an organisation a terrorist group.
He said, “I believe there are processes and procedures to be followed before such can be done. It is not in the powers of any organisation, especially the military, to unilaterally declare any organisation a terrorist organisation.”
On the proscription of the group by the South East Governor’s Forum he said, “I believe that the governors have acted in the best interest of the country.”
He berated IPOB for allowing themselves to be provoked into violence arguing that since the agitating group claimed to be a lone violent one that they should not have allowed its members to be provoked under any circumstance.
“If you say you are non-violent, you should not be provoked into acts of violence. They should be able to study the tactics employed by the civil right groups in the United States.
“If you believe in non-violence, you should study the tactics employed by the civil rights group in US led by the great Martin Luther King jnr. so that they will not be provoked under any circumstances.
“There was an instance when Martin Luther was beaten up and slapped during his struggle but he refused to react: that is the tactics of non-violence. It has been employed in many parts of the world with great success,” he said.
Similarly, Ohanaze Ndigbo also on Saturday, arising from its Imeobi meeting in Enugu faulted the declaration and insisted that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation.
According to Ohanaeze, going by extant national and international laws, especially the terrorist prevention Act 2011, as amended in 2015, IPOB is not a terrorist group.
Ohanaeze however, commended the proscription of IPOB by South East governors, saying it was a good step in order to douse the escalated tension over the army’s siege of the region.
The group further said in a communiqué read by its president, Nnia Nwodo, that it stood for a united Nigeria under a restructured federal system of government that guarantees justice, equity and fairness.
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