Just the other day, it was widely reported in the media that the Defence Headquarters as a result of the exchanges and confrontation between the military and members of IPOB in some parts of the South East region of Nigeria preparatory to the take off, of operation Python Dance II, have declared the organization a terrorist one based on certain prescribed parameters.
However, one has watched in amazement how supposed learned minds have been engaged in legal sophistry on the propriety or otherwise of the military action on social media which is an insult to the bar profession because the most appropriate place for them to exhibit this skill that is been dissipated on social media is purely in the courts, hence one has adopted the attitude of “Ignore and just be an onlooker”.
However, while these so called social media lawyers and their followers continue to dissipate energies on social media, one opines that in as much as one respects their right to exert their energy wherever they deem fit outside the courts, one is worried that they seem to be overlooking one very important aspect expected of them, which is to examine the books to see if the military yardstick for the description of an organization as a terrorist one, has been complied with, in regards to IPOB.
Also, one finds it ludicrous that some persons and interests who are sympathisers of IPOB are calling the Federal Government names because in their opinion, what qualifies IPOB as a terrorist organization should also be applied to killer herdsmen. This is absurdity of the highest order because what the alledged killer herdsmen are committing, amounts to criminality and is being treated as such by the authorities. A case in point is that of the abductors of former secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Chief Olu Falae on his farm in Akure, the Ondo state capital, who were arrested, arraigned in court and sentenced accordingly.
For our information, the alledged killer herdsmen who are engaged in criminality all over the country have never for once been seen or observed or reported to be led by a leader domiciled in a particular part of the country, who is issuing threats, undermining national unity and security like Nnamdi Kanu and his described terrorist group.
But it’s a fact and a sad development that the authorities have not been viewed to very up and doing with regards to frontally combating this recurring menace which is a dent on the primary responsibility of government to the protection of lives and property of the citizenry.
So, it is uncharitable and deceitful to attempt to compare the criminality of alledged herdsmen which is similar to rape, kidnappings, ritual killings, etc to the threat to national security by Nnamdi Kanu and his group, who one day was calling for secession, a republic of biafra, another day was calling for referendum and another day, was calling for restructuring, which makes one to be at a loss to the “actual agenda” of this described terrorist group.
For our collective education and understanding, be informed that while you are at liberty to hold legal opinion and subscribe to condemning views about the description of IPOB as a terrorist organization by the military, what the Defence Headquarters has just said by that description is that in it’s confrontation with members of IPOB and other criminal elements which is the focus of operations Python Dance II in the South East region comprising 5 states of Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra, IPOB as an organization is no longer recognized as peaceful agitators with constitutionally acknowledge demands within their rights but as terrorists who will be treated accordingly, no more, no less.
In it’s engagement on the field, the military is empowered to deal with issues within certain parameters and this description falls within, but in as much as we recognize this powers, may we call on the military authorities to strictly observe the rules of engagement in line with International standard of respect for sanctity of human dignity and life.
As for the legal minds, please let the fireworks begin in the court room soonest rather than on social media so that our democracy and society can be the better for it.
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