Nigeria News: Before IPOB Will Go Militant
Nigeria News take a look at the alleged attack on IPOB leader’s residence by the Nigerian Army and other counter accusations.
It is not a gain saying to posit that Nigeria military has done a lot to stem militancy across the country.
The soldiers, unarguably have done more than protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria, they have taken over many of the roles of the Nigeria police in curbing the growth of militancy and of course maintaining peace during protest.
There is growing agitation by various self-determination groups in some parts of the country. Almost all of them started without violence and grew to become impulsive gangs of militants and terror groups.
They felt cheated and alienated by successive governments and echoed their grievances through civil protest but while doing so, many of their members were killed in the process.
Nigerian Army has been alleged of extra-judicial killings several time but at no time did the institution owned up to some of its errors in the discharge of its official duty.
A clear example was the murder and massacre of the Islamic Origination, the Shiite in Kaduna and the continuous incarceration of its leader. In the Kaduna crisis, thousands of Shiite members were killed, including the children of their leader by the soldiers.
The Nigerian Army defended its action by saying that the Shiite group ambush its members during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Kaduna and that the Muslims group blocked the passage of the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Turkur Buratai.
Ibrahim Zakzaky, the Shiite leader is still in government custody perhaps, the attack on him would have bred new set of insurgents.
Boko Haram was born in the same circumstance. The slain Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, it will be recalled was not a violent person. He had preferred civil protest to militancy but following his murder by the Nigeria police, his followers resorted to the use of arms and ammunition.
The present Boko Haram leader, Ibrahim Sheau is violent. He became brutal after the police had killed Yusuf. As at today thousands of Nigerians had been killed by the insurgents while millions displaced and abducted.
In the southwest, the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC has the militant side being led by Otunba Gani Adams. He carved his group out of the non-violent OPC of Dr. Fredrick Fasheun.
Adams’ ultimate aim is to defend Yoruba ethnic group from oppression, which to a large extent the group has been able to achieve. Many members of OPC are now being engaged as community security guards in many parts of the southwestern Nigeria.
It was not until the former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha killed Ken Saro-Wiwa that the Niger Delta Militia force came on board. Saro-Wiwa was not violent in his approach against the Federal Government’s oppression of the Ogoni people.
Saro-Wiwa never carried gun. He protested against the government on the pages of newspapers and civil protest. He was killed alongside eight other Ogoni human rights activist by the Abacha government.
To the international community, the killing of Ogoni nine was callous and extrajudicial. It took years before the Niger Delta militants rose to avenge the killings, which of course came in the way of abduction of expatriates and bombing of oil facilities.
Before IPOB will raise a militant group, the Federal Government will need to be very careful with the way it is handling the issue of Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader.
It is obvious that Kanu had breached all his bail conditions by setting up Biafra Security Service and organizing rallies against the government, the Nigerian Army must be careful not to engage in another extrajudicial killing that can tarnish the image of the present administration.
The alleged attack on the residence of Kanu in Umuahia, Abia State by the soldiers ought not to have happened at all. The blaring of siren by the army was not supposed to happen around Kanu’s house since he was not holding a rally or disturbing the peace of the public.
Nonetheless, the Assistant Director Army Public Relations 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, Major Oyegoke Gbadamosi has debunked the reports that soldiers killed IPOB members in Abia State.
He said, “This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-Word Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, on Sunday.
They insisted that the military vehicles would not be allowed to pass and unexpectedly started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew.”