President Muhammadu Buhari regime has accused some Western nations of supporting the activities of IPOB and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to destabilise Nigeria, says a federal government official.
A top federal government official, who made the disclosure, said the government petitioned the countries on the terrorist activities of Mr Kanu and IPOB almost two months ago but was surprised when several Western diplomats issued a statement over the weekend regarding Mr Buhari regime’s Twitter ban.
The source said the statement completely ignored the violence incited by Kanu, a concern the president’s deleted tweet sought to confront.
The official said the information regarding the level of violence Kanu had been inciting and directly engaged with “are details that many of the Abuja-based diplomats have already become aware of based on official communication from the Nigerian government.”
According to the source, details of the government’s communication to some diplomatic missions from Western nations are beginning to emerge, including a clear designation of the group as terrorists.
Also in the communication is a formal request that the international community should treat IPOB and its leaders as criminals and terrorists in the manner of other known terrorist organisations around the world.
The source added that the federal government in that communication had explained to the Western countries’ embassies that “the Nigerian National Assembly, like nearly every parliament in the world, already passed a law to counter-terrorism and violent extremism in the country.
The official stated, “Within that legal framework, the Nigerian authorities had sought and obtained a court order declaring and proscribing IPOB as a terrorist organisation (Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Nigeria in SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017 – ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION V. IPOB dated 20th September 2017), which order was consequently published in the Federal Government of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 99 Vol. 104 as Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2017.
”This, therefore, makes IPOB a terrorist organisation and following the 2017 order of proscription by the Federal High Court, IPOB filed an appeal (APPEAL NO: CA/ABJ/214/2018 – IPOB V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION) which is now pending before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, Nigeria.
“The implication of the provisions of Nigeria’s Terrorism Prevention Act on the issue at hand is that IPOB is an outlawed organisation.”
The government official added, ”Whoever fraternises or supports the organisation is undermining Nigeria’s criminal legislations while also poses a threat to its national security and sovereignty.
”It must be stated that there are several groups in Nigeria who advocate the restructuring of the country or even call for secession, yet they carry out their activities unhindered in so far as it is within the confines of the law.
”It is important to stress that IPOB was declared a terrorist organisation based on proven acts of terrorism.”
Giving an update on the number of attacks, the source stated that “in roughly under four months (from January to April) this year, IPOB has carried out over 55 violent acts in various parts of Nigeria killing scores of people and destroying many properties.”
The top government official further said, “Mr Kanu continues to broadcast online from his base in some western cities and continues to issue series of instructions to his militia and other members of the outlawed organisation, on acts of violence to be carried out within the territory of Nigeria.”
The source further pointed out, “Members of the outlawed organisation, in furtherance to these instructions, intensified their attacks on the specified target
This has now become the pattern of its operations – Nnamdi Kanu issues instructions (from some city in the western world), and members of the outlawed organisation carry out these instructions in Nigeria.
“For example, a day after Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has confirmed to newsmen that Nnamdi Kanu has ordered members of the group to kill him and other South-East Governors, which orders were repeated on Radio Biafra, the private residence of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, in his hometown in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, was attacked and set ablaze and two of the security men attached to the house were killed.”
The federal government’s communication further declared that “Nnamdi Kanu is intentionally seeking to manipulate the international community by pretending to be agitating for secession, while actively working towards destabilisation of the Nigerian nation through violence.”
The source noted that “on 22nd April 2021, Nnamdi Kanu called on his militia and other members of IPOB to shut down all democratic processes in Anambra state; and capture, kill and decapitate all those he described as ‘monkeys.’
According to the source, a major lesson that can be learnt from history is that it is important to nip the activities of violent militia and terrorist groups in the bud.
“It is also noteworthy that a profit-driven private entity like Facebook has blocked Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, out of its platform for violating its rules on harm and hate speech.
“It should be stated categorically that the government of Nigeria should use every opportunity to record its strong objection to the falsehood and mischaracterisation of conditions in Nigeria, which sought to justify the violent acts of IPOB under the guise of fight against regional marginalisation,” stated the official.