Lai: I don’t care about legality of army’s actions… IPOB is a terrorist group

Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, says the army was right to designate the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist group despite not following the provisions of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act.

Mohammed was speaking during a chat with State House Correspondents after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“I am not interested in the semantics or legality of troop’s deployment or the proscription of IPOB. All I know is that IPOB has engaged in terrorist activities such as: 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?”

Mohammed confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari, before leaving for New York, did sign the document to kick-start the process that will culminate in the formal declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group by the appropriate authority.



    He explained that the Army took the steps it did in order to ensure that things did not get out of hand in the South East.

    On Monday, Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, explained that what the Defence Headquarters did was not a declaration but only a pronouncement to enable it bring the situation in the South East under control.

    “You have to get it very clear. First of all, what the Defence Headquarters did was to make pronouncement,” Buratai said.

    “It wasn’t a declaration per se. But this has given room for the right step to be taken. I think the government is doing the right thing.”

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