Ameh Ebute, Nigeria’s senate president during the end of the third republic, has written a letter to the UN over the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The former lawmaker said the group, which he described as a terrorist sect, is capable of causing “mass genocide” in Nigeria.
IPOB, led by Nnamdi Kanu, was proscribed by the governors of the south-east after the military branded it a terrorist organisation.
There have been different reactions to the clampdown on IPOB, with Senate President Bukola Saraki declaring that the actions of the military and the governors were unconstitutional.
In the letter, Ebute appealed for the intervention of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to avert a crisis of “genocidal dimension” in Nigeria.
Below is the letter:
“The league of elder statesmen in Nigeria sends you special compliments as well as extends same to the entire staff of the UN Secretariat Headquarters, New York.
We are sure the UN is aware and indeed monitoring the precarious insecurity situation in Nigeria, heightened by terrorist sects and other violent insurrectional groups. These crises escalated in the last few years beginning from the year 2009, when Boko Haram terrorists invaded Nigeria terrifyingly.
The extremists Boko Haram Islamic sect members mindlessly and gruesomely murdered people; abducted hundreds of Nigerians; perpetrated acts of arson and violently seized swathes of land under Nigerian territorial sovereignty and committed other heinous atrocities already recorded by history.
It has deposited on the land internally displaced persons (IDPs) the UN has estimated at over 2.4 million people in northeast Nigeria, where terrorism hibernated for years before its defeat by the Nigerian Military.
The federal government of Nigeria (FGN) under President Muhammadu Buhari has been battling the scourge of terrorism and allied insurgencies in parts of Nigeria in the last two years. But as the insecurity situation in Nigeria is gradually being normalised, the country is again woken up by sounds of unpleasant drums of war chanted by emerging terrorists sects, garbed in ethnic separatist movements which have perfected plots to unleash more heinous atrocities on Nigeria.
We wish to notify your office that investigations by the appropriate security authorities in Nigeria have identified the latest and budding terrorists sect in the country as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), whose leader is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
The activities of IPOB members which are mainly confined to south-east Nigeria presently is an organisation, which operates in the guise of agitations for secession or actualisation of a “republic of Biafra”.
While it is clear IPOB is opposed to conventional tools for its campaigns for secession, its members have wittingly engaged in unwholesome acts, which bear bold imprints of terrorism.
IPOB sect members, led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu have embarked on bile and hate campaigns against other ethnicities in Nigeria, adopting inciting or indecorous language, and laced in distasteful violent acts, intent on provoking another civil war in Nigeria.
They consistently nourish the platform for the planned civil strife it intends to illegally foist on Nigeria, which would lead to mass genocide against innocent Nigerians.
We are concerned at the exposure of traits of terrorism in IPOB as revealed by an intensive, painstaking security investigation and analysis of the activities of IPOB’s Leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his band of followers.
The conclusions have been sourced and established from its relentlessly violent siege on Nigeria and promotion of hate campaigns as well as physical enforcement of compliance with illegal sit-at-home order through its militant wings.
In accordance with the above acts which bear semblance of terrorism, the Nigerian military on Friday, September 15, 2017 declared IPOB’s leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the organisation as manifesting in “intent, plan and purposes as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation.”
The Nigerian defence headquarters which issued the proclamation cited IPOB’s perpetration of acts like the formation of a Biafra Secret Service (BSS); advanced stages in the formation of Biafra National Guard (BNG); militants possession/use of weapons;
physical confrontations and attempts to snatch military weapons from the military troops on patrol and unauthorised blockage of public access roads and extortion of money from hapless members of the general public. These act built an unfathomable tension in the southeast and Nigeria.
It is also instructive that almost simultaneously after Nigerian military authorities declared IPOB a terrorists organisation, the governors of the five states in the south-east, under the aegies of South-east Governors Forum (SGF) held an emergency meeting.
After intensive deliberations on the actions of the IPOB leader and activities of the organisation, the SGF in a communiqué issued on same day, September 15, 2017 unanimously resolved and proscribed the activities of IPOB.
Furthermore, it is a matter of serious concern that the south-east states governors, who are the chief security officers of their respective states, reviewed the prevailing preposterous insecurity situation in the south-east hatched through the violent operations of IPOB members and the concomitant consequences to outrightly proscribe its activities.
It is express confirmation of the deep-rooted threats of terrorism IPOB constituted to the south-east region and corporate existence of Nigeria; public peace and order as well as national security.
Only the prompt intervention of the Nigerian military that saved a nationally ominous, violent implosion, which would have snowballed into a terrible and devastating crisis, leading to mass genocide of Nigerian people.
We are scared for the future of Nigeria and posterity with the continued existence of the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB. Its leader has vowed repeatedly through utterances and actions to unstoppably trigger crisis of genocidal proportions in Nigeria come rain, come sun shine.
It is therefore imperative for the UN through its organ of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to invoke the suitable laws to intervene in an apparently smoldering crisis in Nigeria.
Permitting the progression of this crisis to the level of explosion would be devastating and definitely affect peace and security on the African continent as a whole and create humanitarian crisis of international dimension.
The UN is pleaded to immediately commence the process of investigating the activities of IPOB’s leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and members of the organisation which have radiated in flames of a terrorists sect. It has led to its tagging as a terrorists organisation by Nigeria and UN is prodded to act in order to identity and do the needful to these pregnable threats to Nigeria and trans-regional security in Africa.
The UN is implored to further initiate actions that would save Nigeria from this pending catastrophe arranged by IPOB in order to safeguard international peace and security.
Our experiences indicate that some terrorists groups tormenting Nigeria today have confessed to been foreign-backed and funded. It underscores the need to give more attention to IPOB’s fierce aggression on Nigeria.
Please, accept our profound appreciation as we anxiously await an immediate response to this plea for intervention to halt the imminent disruption of peace and the obvious plunging of Nigeria into avertable crisis.”