By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
THE Presidency, on Tuesday, stated that it got the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, due to “cross-border cooperation” in a well-coordinated “international operation”.
They said after Kanu was nabbed, he was then handed over to National Intelligence Agency, NIA, and then returned to Nigeria to face the Law.
These were contained in a statement by the Presidency, Tuesday, by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
Vanguard, last Tuesday, June 29, broke the news that Nnamdi Kanu had been arrested and extradited to Nigeria since Sunday, June 27. Read it HERE.
The furore that followed took, expectedly, political, ethnic, social and legal dimensions, with confusion over how and/or where the IPOB leader was abducted from.
However, the Federal Government’s statement, on Tuesday, said nothing about where Nnamdi Kanu was taken, but heaped praises on the security agencies involved in the operation for a job well done.
According to the statement, President Buhari’s government would not allow the fundamental human right to freely express personal or regional views be abused to the extent of sabotaging the unity of the country.
The President said: “Last week, we saw the enhanced collaboration of Nigerian law enforcement agencies, as they executed with great synchronisation arrests of individuals who had inflicted pain and hardships on fellow citizens.
“The subversive leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a group known for its murderous actions and virulent messaging, was detained as a result of cross-border cooperation.
“This international operation was executed in a closely coordinated fashion, following which he was handed over to our National Intelligence Agency, NIA, and then returned to Nigeria to face the Law.
“The violence inspired by IPOB has led to hundreds of fatalities, particularly targeted at government assets and law enforcement agents.
“Additionally, there have been at last count, 55 separate violent attacks, heavily concentrated in the South-East, which heaped further hardship on our honest and hardworking citizens, preventing them from earning their livelihood and going about their normal lives.
“The government had long been monitoring the activities of IPOB and had strong cause to believe that their funding sources include proceeds of suspected illicit criminal activities.
“By this singular action of our security forces, sanity, calm and peace has been restored to our communities which previously lived in constant fear of these misguided elements.
“It must be highlighted that the government respects fundamental rights of citizens to express their views and recognizes this as a democratic tenet.
“However, any attempt to build an armoury, coupled with plans, either subtle or expressed, to undermine our unity as a nation will not be condoned.
“Mr. President’s directives to security services regarding anyone seen to be carrying arms, particularly AK-47, are clear and require no further illumination.
“The successes of our security agencies must be commended as they have demonstrated significant deftness, guile and secrecy in carrying out these missions.
“This level of professionalism must be sustained and brought to bear as we focus on extracting from our society those who have found a new trade in targeting students, rural dwellers and our citizens in the Northwest.
“The nation recognizes their efforts and sacrifice.”