Senate President Bukola Saraki in a statement on Monday says the defence headquarters did not follow due process in categorising the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a “terrorist organisation” – also the proscription of the group by the Southeast governors.
- “I also wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by governors of the Southeast states and the categorisation of the group as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian military is unconstitutional and did 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.”
- “Our brothers and sisters in the Southeast, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquillity and go about their lawful business. This crisis will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger.”
- “At this point, Nigerians outside the Southeast who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation. I, therefore, call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.
- “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 emphasises 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.”
- “I want to also make it clear that the national assembly intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the Southeast.”