It is unfortunate that the organized global community could not definitively make any response all this while, to the press statement of Mallam Garba Shehu the Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity. He had told the world verbatim that the Nigerian government blacklisted the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as terrorists because the movement is running an international campaign against Nigeria as a means of achieving their independence.
However, nothing whatsoever has been heard from the international community in response to Mallam Garba Shehu, who by covert dictatorial intent is arrogantly telling them what prompted the Nigerian government to designate IPOB as terrorist movement. Carefully studying the paragraph containing the statement of Mallam Garba Shehu about IPOB and discovering as a legitimate reason for the action is most mischievous coming from a supposed career media chief of his caliber. It is unjustifiably wrong taking that position instead of calling for a meaningful round table dialogue. The beneath extract has precisely the paragraph where he made it abundantly clear via the press statement dated 23rd September 2020, that the Nigerian government designated IPOB as terrorists in the Nigerian Federation just because of their peaceful agitation for political independence.
……”Another signatory to the letter is well known to be associated with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a Nigerian-blacklisted terrorist group. The IPOB are running a well known (source-of-financing-unknown) international campaign intended to damage the reputation of Nigeria and it’s government in order to further their cause of “INDEPENDENCE”……”
Although, in the month of September 2017 when Honorable Justice Abdul Kafarati granted the prayer of the Nigerian government through her Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in his obscure chamber to designate IPOB as a terrorist organization due to peaked agitations then, the civilized global community outrightly rejected that tag.
It was equally anticipated that the United Kingdom lawmakers whom Garba Shehu addressed amongst other organizations, should have asked critical questions about what actually made the Nigerian government to so fastly designate an indigenous population entrapped in an artificial country, as terrorists.
READ: IPOB was blacklisted because of “Independence” Quest — Nigeria govt confirms in their letter to British Lawmakers
Recall that the governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom and the European Union vehemently insisted that there existed no laws across the world that could prove an organization that is agitating for independence, as a terrorist organization. Despite this, the Nigerian government yet arrogantly snubbed these responses of the international community, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. What Nigeria did was to continue with the brazen killing, maiming and forced disappearances of Family members of IPOB wherever sighted since September 2017 till date.
Now that Mallam Garba Shehu has publicly stated the obvious that it was because IPOB is potently agitating for independence that provoked the Nigerian government to blacklist an indigenous people as a terrorist organization without any record of killing, destruction or any of her members found in possession of firearms/ammunition, it is therefore appropriate for the world to prevail on the Nigerian government to allow Biafra to exit peacefully through the instrumentality of political independence as Garba Shehu actually understood. The international community should understand that there is apparently no how a race could be tagged as terrorists and be made to reliably continue as citizens of the same country.
Through the Nigerian government’s designation of IPOB as terrorists, it therefore simply means that all the indigenous inhabitants of Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Rivers, Enugu and Ebonyi States with parts of Kogi, Benue and Edo States also are regarded as terrorists. This forms the reason why the Nigerian soldiers and police are persistently terrorizing, killing, maiming and arresting Biafrans in the aforementioned States any time they peacefully converge for prayers and other organizational meetings. For instance, the Nigerian armed forces blatantly molest the innocent and get away with it because of the terrorism tag placed on the generality of Biafrans. Igbo Biafran women were criminally assaulted just for gathering at the field of Assumption Parish at Nkwo-Nike, Enugu-East local government area of Enugu State for their Annual August Meeting. The Nigerian authorities claimed that these innocent, unarmed women were “their so-called IPOB women”.
The Garba Shehu press statement should really awaken the conscience of the international community as it has become needful to save the people of Biafra from the tyranny and terror of the Nigerian government that is occupying the entirety of Biafraland all in the name of fighting the tagged terrorists simply because they are legitimately agitating for the restoration of their homeland. It will be the highest level of inhuman treatment meted against generations of the Bisfran people even in this 21st century.
The civilized global society should definitely not be adjudged placing more value on the sovereignty of Nigeria above the sanctity of lives within the West African sub-region, encapsulated in Nigeria. Therefore, the people of Biafra are unjustly and oppressively being tagged as terrorists by the Nigerian government due to their freedom quest. Why really then, does the same government of Nigeria feel greatly uncomfortable allowing the same people to go?
Now is the set time for the world to expedite action by strongly prevailing on the “administrators” of Nigeria to allow Biafrans to exit. They cannot be standing unconcerned and be helplessly watching the Nigerian armed forces kill the Biafrans at will at any slightest gathering in the name of an ill-conceived plot. Biafrans are not terrorists and could resort to aggravated actions for self defence and to drive home their quest for Independence.
Written by Mazi Onyebuchi Eze
Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International