Igbo Socio-political group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has said the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a terrorist organisation.
The defence headquarters had declared IPOB a militant terrorist group after a clash with soldiers.
But in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting in Enugu on Saturday and signed by John Nwodo, Ohanaeze asked the army to immediately terminate its exercise in the south-east.
“That the decision of the Nigeria army to commence Operation Python Dance in the south-east at this point in time is regrettable and called for immediate termination of the exercise. The military option is never the solution to problem of nation building. We refer for instance to goings on in Spain, Scotland and other parts of the world to reaffirm that only through dialogue can the national question be resolved. Consequently we condemned all acts of violence in pursuance to freedom of expression,” the nine-point communiqué read.
“That Imeobi resolved that IPOB is not a terrorist organisation. There are processes under extant national and international laws, especially the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as Amended in 2015 to determine whether a group is or not a terrorist organisation.”
It said the loss of lives during the military exercise was “unfortunate and deplorable.”
It added, “It is the sole responsibility of the police in every democracy to maintain law and order and protection of lives and property of its citizens”.
“A united Nigeria under a restructured federal system of government that guarantees justice, equity and farness is the best system for this country,” it said.
“Accordingly, Ohanaeze is mandated to organise a special summit soonest of Igbo nation in support of the restructuring agenda.”