By Clifford Ndujihe
LAGOS—A LEADING Igbo pressure group, Nzuko Umunna, has kicked against the recent directive by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to GOCs and field commanders to clamp down immediately on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, over alleged plans to disrupt the forthcoming general elections.
Aligning with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo position on the issue, Nzuko Ummuna said the planned clampdown on IPOB and militarisation of the forthcoming polls in the South-East are ‘’ totally misplaced and uncalled for’’ because ‘’the claim by General Buratai that the activities of IPOB and its ‘splinter groups’ are gaining momentum in the South Eastern part of the country is not borne by facts, as the South East zone has remained perhaps the most peaceful and safest part of Nigeria.’’
In a statement by Mr. Ngozi Odumuko, Coordinator; and Mr. Paschal Mbanefo, General Secretary, the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the military hierarchy to immediately call off the “Operations Safe Conduct.”
‘’The planned onslaught against its members may be prejudicial to the appeal filed by IPOB at Nigeria’s Court of Appeal to set aside its January 22, 2018 proscription by the Federal High Court, thereby foisting a fait accompli on the appellate court,’’ it said.
‘’Rather than quell any perceived excesses of IPOB, this ill-advised military operations is bound to foul the peaceful political climate in the South East Zone and provoke restiveness among Igbo youths. This will turn the South East zone into yet another killing field.”