…condemns video of soldiers dehumanising IPOB members
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Chief Sebastine Hon, on Thursday, said it was improper for the Federal Government and the Nigerian Army to depict pro-Biafra agitators as arch enemies.
Hon, SAN, in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja, described as “horrible and horrifying”, a video he said showed “most dehumanising treatment of persons suspected to be Biafra apologists”, by armed Nigerian soldiers.
“What that video has depicted personnel of the Nigerian doing is condmnable in all ramifications. Not even prisoners of war are treated that way!”, the senior lawyer and renowned author of many constitutional books stated.
He said: “It is unbelievable that the Nigerian Army, once respected globally, would condescend to the level of flogging its hapless captives and compelling them to submerge themselves in thick mud.
“I did not believe my eyes when I first watched the video; and I almost became a psychological wreck when I attempted to watch it again.
“The promise by the army to investigate is salutary; but I must caution that this should not be a fluke”.
According to him, eventhough the renewed Biafra agitation “is, responsibly speaking, not well thought out by its protagonists”, he however berated the federal government for its “dismissive aloofness”.
“I can’t fathom why, in a democracy, the Federal Government is blatantly refusing to meaningfully engage dissidents threatening dismemberment of that same Federation, but rather derisively threat them as mere noisy elements. It is never done this way.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, I do not support any separatist agitation in Nigeria now; but at the same time, I do not support the Nigerian Government’s demeaning response to the smouldering crisis.
“I warned the other day that Nigeria is hemorrhaging and even hanging on the cliff. I also advised that President Muhammadu Buhari should use the carrot and stick approach of the President Obasanjo era – which deservedly beat the Niger Delta agitators to their game.
“The actions of the Federal Government and the Nigerian Army are capable of being misinterpreted as anti-Igbo.
“In conclusion, however, I wish to strongly plead for caution, especially on the part of the Federal Government. The apparent depicting of Biafran apologists as arch enemies is improper, with due respect.
“Igbo leaders, political and traditional, should also not just speak up against separatism, they should also engage constructively with the agitators on the need for them to see the futility of their actions. A stitch in time saves nine”, the statement further read.