….. Says it’s the people’s right
By Joan Ejembi
The European Union (EU) on Sunday condemned the brutal attack on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members and leadership, by the Nigerian Armed Forces.
President of the EU Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Junker, who conveyed the stance of the Commission, upheld that it is the people’s right to agitate and make a request from their government.
The EU’s condemnation followed the circulation of video footages of the brutal and inhuman activities of the Nigerian Army in the South-East region of Nigeria, which went viral.
Describing the action as ill hearted and unprofessional handling of democratic issues and the rights of the people, Junker cautioned the Nigerian military chiefs to employ every democratic tenet to handle issues that concern the agitations of the citizens in Nigeria.
His words: “It is the people’s right to agitate and make a request from their government; self-determination is a right enshrined in the United Nation Charter. The people of Biafra have every right to request for a referendum, they have been in this struggle for a while now they have never killed or shot a bullet instead they are the victims of attacks and murder.
“The entire EU hereby condemns the brutal attack on IPOB members and leadership under the pretentious disguise of a military exercise (Operation Python Dance). The Nigerian military is warned to adopt democratic tenets in handling citizens. The EU will not sit and watch things go undemocratic in the largest economy of the West African region.”
He promised to raise the issues concerning the peoples’ request for a referendum among the caucus of the EU, arguing that the Biafra request for a referendum was not different from that of the Catalonians in Spain and the Scots in Britain.
He also urged the Nigeria government to rise above the suppression of voices of dissent and handle issues with every tenet of maturity and democracy.
It would be recalled that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, had petitioned the European Union on the on-going military operation in southeast region of Nigeria.
Kanu had in the petition accused the army of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of the civilian populace in the southeast.
Also, he had petitioned the European Union High Commission, the Presidents of United States of America, Russia, Israel, United Kingdom and France.
Dated September 14, the leader of the separatist group in the petition, accused the Nigerian military of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of civilian populace in the southeast.
Written by the counsel to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the letter was addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the European Union High Commission, the presidents of United States of America, Russia and Israel.
In his letter, he called for the immediate intervention of the UN, the EU, the US and these other countries on the invasion of the military in the region, urging the comity of nations to prevail on the Nigerian government to suspend further military action in the South-East states of the country and withdraw ‘the rampaging troops’ from the region.
According to the letter, which was attached with videos and photographs of victims of the alleged army attack, the hostility against the IPOB members has escalated to other neighbouring states resulting in bloody casualties.
“Unarmed civilians largely made up members of the Indigenous People of Biafra are now being tortured and murdered in cold blood on a daily basis.
“We have no doubt that the undisclosed reason for deploying troops to south eastern states by the President Buhari-led administration is to attack unarmed and defenceless members of the Indigenous People of Biafra who are merely exercising their constitutional guaranteed rights to self-determination,” the letter said.
It would be recalled that the Defence Headquarters of the Nigeria Army, on Friday declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, claiming that its members had become violent and a security threat in the country.