The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, has supported the Nigerian Army in its recent declaration that the Indigenous People of Biafra is a terrorist group.
Mr. Shehu made this known while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said the Federal Government had closely monitored the activities of the group, its inability to embrace dialogue, hence qualified to be called a terrorist organisation.
“We looked at this organisation, we analysed it, and it fits the description of a terrorist organization. If it fits the description of a terrorist organization, then it is a terrorist organization,” he added.
Although the Presidential Aide admitted that the military by its declaration alerted Nigerians of their own analysis, he, however, revealed the Federal Government was bound to follow up “some processes.”
“That yes, it fits in and as Americans say, ‘If it walks like a duck, it moves like a duck, it looks like a duck, then it is a duck.’
“Therefore, that is it. That is their own description of it. So, the processes we are bound to follow since they are fully aware of the fact that from the point of view of the law, they cannot do what the law does not empower them to do.”
Mr. Shehu further explains that IPOB leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu had earlier aborted peace moves made by the governors of the five eastern states headed by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, as well as Senators from the region.
He said, “IPOB itself has clearly indicated that they are not interested in dialogue. You know that in the run-up of these processes, the governors of the states in the region had put up a forum, IPOB said, ‘No, thank you, we are not interested.’
“The Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria set up a delegation and they said, ‘IPOB we want to speak to you,’ and they said, ‘no, thank you.’”
“Initially yes, it is clear that the leader had himself shut everyone out of the whole process,” he lamented.
Earlier on Wednesday, The Federal High Court in Abuja has approved the application by the Federal Government, seeking the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati, granted the order on Wednesday, five days after the military released a statement declaring IPOB a terrorist group and South-East governors proscribed its activities.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), had filed an ex-parte motion filed motion asking the court to proscribe the activities of the group and declare it a terrorist organisation.
Mr. Malami cited Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act and listed IPOB as the only respondent in the suit which was marked FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017.
~ Mark Twain