Asari-Dokubo, IPOB Dare Army, Say Biafra Has Come To Stay

Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Biafra De-Factor Customary Government, yesterday, said they would not be cowed by military’s clampdown threats.

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, had said at the first Commanding Officers’ Workshop 2021 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom on Tuesday, that military would go after agitators like Nnami Kanu, Sunday Igboho and Dokubo if they did not drop their alleged plans to destabilise the corporate existence of Nigeria.

But reacting through its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB said they would not be intimidated by threats from the army and that the Eastern Security Network (ESN) was equal to the task.

“They can run their mouth for all we care, when the time comes they will know the stuff ESN is made of. They can threaten any other group not IPOB and ESN, we are seven miles away from them. What Boko Haram is doing to them in the North East will be a child’s play compared to what they will receive from ESN and its operatives because we are owners of the land. Nigeria army and police are cowards. They can’t test us. If they do, they will regret their actions against this outfit.”

In the same vein, Dokubo reacting through the Head, Information and Communication of the group, Uche Mefor, said they were not at war with the Nigerian government but exercising their legitimate rights to self-determination.

“We are not at war with the Nigerian state. We are doing everything within the confines of the law, both domestic and international. Nigerian state agents are entitled to their opinions but our claim and assertion to our rights to self-determination is firmly entrenched and rooted in international law. The Biafra Nation has come to stay. The Biafra De Facto Customary Government has come stay. We have not challenged the Nigerian state but firmly finds our legitimacy and position within the confines of the international legal order.

“On the other hand, and to the contrary, the Nigerian state has subjected majority of the ethnic nationalities and their populations to unimaginable horror, intimidation, sustained systematic human rights abuses, denied them the rights to freely choose their political future (internal self-determination) and this has come to a stage where her sovereignty is now being called to question.

“The right to self-determination is a human right. Article I of the Charter of the United Nations recognises the right to self-determination which underpins its universality, article 1 article common to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which states that all peoples have the right to self-determination.

“By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Article 20 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights of 1981 recognises the rights to self-determination and it is subsequently domesticated in Nigerian law under CAP 10 laws of federal republic of Nigeria 2004 as amended. Why would any of our men be harmed when they have not committed any crime nor go on the offensive against Nigeria, If Nigeria does that, it then means that Nigeria is herself violating international law and specifically the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to which she is a signatory.”

YCE knocks COAS over comment on Igboho, Dokubo, others

Meanwhile, the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has knocked Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, for saying the military would go after leaders of self-determination groups.

Secretary-General of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun, said it is not the duty of the military to go after agitators, but that of the Police Force, Department of State Security, and other agencies, saddled with the responsibility of internal security.

“Military, in my own humble opinion, has no right to go after anybody. Anybody, who in the opinion of the civil policing authority, which is Nigeria Police, is breaching or violating the law, the police or the intelligence agency is charged with the responsibility of inviting such people for interrogation, not the Chief of Army Staff going after.

“I would have thought the proper thing to do for the Chief of Army Staff is to discuss with the Inspector- General of Police, and the Director of Directorate of State Department (DSS), and so on. Then, in the event they consider, perhaps, anybody’s statement as being inciting, in such a case, then the appropriate authority should invite quietly the characters and interrogate them. If they discovered that they are harmless, they would not do anything to them, they will allow them to go, and perhaps advised to make less inflammatory statements.

“But for the Chief of Army Staff, the primary responsibility of the military, to the best of my knowledge, is to protect and defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria. They are not to go after people, voicing their opinions. If these people breached the law, we have other agencies that are in position to handle the matter. That is my position. But when I read the news, I did not attach any serious meaning to it. I thought it was not proper.”

Asked if the agitators were fighting a just cause or not, Olajide answered: “They are showing their frustration and dissatisfaction with the system. They are not the only ones dissatisfied with the system. Majority of Nigerians, most of us, including my humble self, are not happy with the system of the present administration. Indeed, there is a lot of injustice, absence of equity, fairness and justice. We believe some Nigerians are more special than the others to the current administration, which, to the best of our knowledge, is not good enough.”

Daily Sun

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