*For coming days, Nigerian Senate will show if agitating for more opportunities and self determination equals Terrorism
*Whether military activities in the East were sheer executive impunity and disregard for international order
*But Senator Saraki has begun by acknowledging that “you can give a dog bad name but pass through due process”
IT NEWS NIGERIA:
Senate President Bukola Saraki today faulted the declaration by the Nigerian military that the Indigenous People of Biafra is a terrorists and the ban placed on the group’s activities by South-East Governors, saying due process was not followed.
According to report, he was quoted as saying that “The announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Governors of the South-east states and the labeling of the group as a ‘terrorist organisation’ by the Nigerian military are unconstitutional and does not follow due process.”
“Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect. I am sure the President will do the needful by initiating the right process.”
The Senate President believes that “initiating the right process” will go a long way in demonstrating to the world at large that Nigeria “is a country that operates by laid down process under every circumstance”.
The senate president seems to acknowlege that unarmed young men have not only been humuliated and but also batterred and masacred with videos online that do not speak well of a nation that is law a biding.
Saraki said the National Assembly will also investigate the crisis in the South East and join all Nigerians in finding the right solution to the crisis rather than worsening it.
“We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what. It is quite clear that all the facts are not yet known. We assure Nigerians that there will be no cover-up. We intend to lay the facts bare,” he said.
He called for calm pending the investigation and urged Nigerians to remain law abiding.
Saraki also appealed to the military to show restraing in the face of provocation. He said, “We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country.
“However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasizes respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.”
Nigerian military had declared IPOB terrorists citing formation of Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads; extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal roadblocks, and possession and use of weapons of stones, Molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others.
IPOB denied the allegations shortly after the declaration, insisting that it is a non-violent movement.
“IPOB is a non-violent movement,” Mr Emmanuel Kanu, the younger brother of IPOB leader who spoke on behalf of the group said. he said we do not carry arms; we’ve never asked anyone to kill for us neither have we killed anyone. If you look at our records, our records are clean and straight.