The Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said military’s declaration of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) as a “militant and terrorist organization” was constitutional, as against Senate President Bukola Saraki’s claim.
Recall that Saraki had said on Monday that “the categorisation of the group [IPOB] as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian military is unconstitutional and did not follow due process.”
But Buratai, at the ongoing 2nd and 3rd COAS Quarterly conference in Abuja on Monday, countered the Senate President after he said Army’s declaration of IPOB as terrorist group was legal.
The COAS equally denied reports that the Nigerian Army was under political pressure when it made the declaration.
“You see you said political pressure, you should understand the context by which the Nigerian Army is operating,” he told journalists.
“The Nigerian Army is part of the political consideration in the democratic system. It is part of the democratic process, is a product of the democratic governance you know the military.
“We are not receiving any pressure; we are doing what the constitution has provided constitutionally for us and our responsibilities.
“So we are not under any pressure whatsoever. Whatever…we will refer him back to the constitution. There are several provisions that give us those responsibilities and also to carry out such task as duly assigned by the government or by the constituted authority. Be rest assured that we don’t have any other role that is outside the constitution.
“As regards the proscription, this is what I have to say: the Federal government will take a final decision on that. There are guidelines as provided in the Act on the terrorism Act and am sure the relevant government agencies will take appropriate the steps whether to arrest or whether to do any other actions and we will receive the appropriate directives from the authorities,” said the COAS.