Buratai was alleged to have threatened to impose a state of emergency if governors of the states allowed any further attack on security forces.
But in a statement yesterday, Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s acting Secretary General and National Publicity Secretary, Uche Achi-Okpaga, said though it abhorred violence, it took exception to such open threat to governors of the region by the Buratai who has no constitutional right to do so.
Ohanaeze said it saw the army chief’s threat as provocative coming to a region that had relative peace when he had not done anything close to that to governors of the states in North Central, North West and North East that had become theatres of war.
He said, “While Ohanaeze Ndigbo decries violence in any form in the states, it takes particular exception to an open threat and warning to South East governors who, by the country’s constitution, are chief security officers of their states but are lame ducks in practice as all security commands come from Abuja.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo finds it particularly provocative for General Buratai to issue such a warning to governors of the South East where relative peace prevails while he has not done the same in the North Central, North West and North East which have become theatres of war, and where army posts and bases have been subjected to incessant attacks by the Boko Haram, ISWA/ISIS, bandits and Fulani herdsmen, killing and maiming Nigerian soldiers.
“We also wonder where the army chief derives the power to issue such a threat which, under the country’s constitution, can only be carried out by the National Assembly on demand by the president.
“It is surprising that an army chief, who was watching as the governor of Katsina State was negotiating and taking pictures with armed bandits, would turn round to threaten to impose a state of emergency in states where unarmed citizens are agitating against the harsh and inhuman conditions they have been subjected to by their country.”
Describing the threat as a glaring example of a “reckless impunity of public officers and a tacit manifestation of the vacuum in governance at the federal level,” Ohanaeze believes it was a confirmation of the authorities regard of the zone as conquered territory.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes the threat by Buratai is a vindication of the belief that the South East is being regarded as a conquered territory, exemplified in the army of occupation stationed in the area.”