Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said Nigeria would have been in crisis if President Muhammadu Buhari had not deployed troops to the South-East.
Mohammed said this while speaking with state house correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.
- The army had launched ‘Operation Python Dance II’ in the South-East to reduce the agitations in the region.
- Some soldiers and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra had clashed during the exercise.
- The Nigerian Army declared the group a terrorist organisation.
- Governors in the South-East region subsequently proscribed the group.
What he said:
- Nigeria would have been on fire if the President did not intervene.
- The intervention of the South-East governors and their northern counterparts stopped reprisal attacks.
- Buhari approved the process for the proscription of IPOB.
“But before I proceed, let me state clearly that it is within the rights of individuals or groups to seek self-determination. But this pursuit has to be non-violent. Where any group crosses the line by engaging in violence, it risks being cut to size. And that’s exactly what has happened to IPOB,” he said.
“I am not interested in the semantics or legality of troop deployment or the proscription of IPOB. All I know is that IPOB has engaged in terrorist activities, viz: setting up parallel military and paramilitary organisations, clashing with the national army and attempting to seize rifles from soldiers, using weapons such as machetes, Molotov cocktails and sticks and mounting roadblocks to extort money from people, among others.
“To those who have engaged in semantics or legality, I ask: Which country in the world will tolerate those activities I have listed above? Which national army will look the other way when it is being attacked by a band of thugs?”