Chris Steven, Abuja
The judgment by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja proscribing the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB], and labeling them a terrorist group has been applauded by the Concerned Citizens Coalition of Nigeria [CCCN].
The CCCN, an Abuja-based coalition group says it is happy with the judgment and commended the Military on being proactive in safeguarding every citizen of the country.
In a press briefing held on Thursday, September 21, 2017 in Abuja, the CCCN through Dr. Musa Omale, its National President, said the Federal Government has taken the right step in the right direction.
Parts of the press statement reads:
“Dear Partners in Progress,
The Federal High Court in Abuja under Acting Chief Justice Abdu Kafarati, on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, ordered that the Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB], is a terror organization.
The order also effectively designated any activity carried out under the name of the group as an act of terrorism.
The Concerned Citizen Coalition of Nigeria (CCCN) lauds the Court Judgement proscribing the IPOB and its designation as a terror group.
The judgment is a vindication of the concerns earlier expressed by the Nigerian Army that what troops are confronting in the South East is pure terrorism.
The ruling should now put to rest any controversy over the nature of IPOB whose criminal activities have no connection with agitation for a fairer share of the nation’s resources.
We commend the Nigerian Army for promptly identifying IPOB as the existential threat it is to the country and for not giving up even when aggressive propaganda was mounted to attempt ridiculing its assertion.
The court order has vindicated the position of the Nigerian Army as the best friend of the Nigerian people and humanity that would stop at nothing until its mandate to defend the land from external and internal insurgencies against the county are all halted.
Their selflessness, patriotism, and devotion to the country are quite commendable and must be saluted at all times.
This coalition urges the Army to remain committed to the ideals of democracy in its onerous duties of defending the territorial integrity of our country from both internal and external aggressors in the country.
We wish to commend those Nigerians that displayed uncommon patriotism to agitate that IPOB should be called what it is, a terror organization. Nigeria is bigger than any parochial interest and we must keep it so.
It is important we are not taking the Boko Haram route again when people initially maintained an air of indifference because they chose to view the terror group from political, religious and ethnic perspectives.
May we use this opportunity to call on the Nigerian Police Force and the Department of State Services [DSS], to immediately go after all the known IPOB terrorists other than its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
There are several videos showing the faces of these terrorists particularly the ones documenting the launch of their militant arm, the Biafra Secret Service.
The terror group had boasted of having its cells outside of the South East, so attention should not only be focused on the area alone but the dragnet should be all over the place.
Security agencies must also put the other separatist groups in the country under watch so that IPOB members do not migrate to such entities to continue terrorizing citizens.
We appeal to the government to educate Nigerians, especially media practitioners, on the implications of advancing terrorist propaganda. The Anti-Terror law has strict provisions for anyone that engages in this.
While ignorance is no excuse in law, it is nonetheless important to sensitize citizens about the provisions of this law especially as it affects communicating on behalf of terrorists.
We, therefore, hope that stakeholders would pay heed and stop publishing contents from terrorists.
Beyond successfully designating IPOB as a terror group, we urge the Federal Government to immediately commence dismantling the group’s network and its infrastructure. Its source of finance must be blocked and anyone that contributes to its funding should be appropriately dealt with.
IPOB’s foreign connections should be probed and strongly worded communication should be sent to any country found to be hosting the terror group’s cells.
On the domestic front, we urge that the government to begin to attend to legitimate agitations that are presented through recognized representatives.
Our counsel at this point is that we should not make the mistake of localizing the call for fair treatment to one ethnic group. All the ethnic groupings in the country each have one grievance or the other.
They should all be looked into without favoring one group over the other so that no one would again use situations that are collectively deplored as excuses to start terror groups.”