European Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech as he makes his State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on September 14, 2016. / AFP / FREDERICK FLORIN (Photo credit should read FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – European Union (EU) on Sunday queued behind the United States of America by condemning and rejecting the Federal government’s categorisation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as a terrorist group.
President of the EU Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Junker, who made the view of the Commission known, openly warned the Nigerian security personnel against what he described as their ill hearted and unprofessional handling of democratic issues and the rights of the people. Junker cautioned the Nigerian military chiefs that they must employ every democratic tenet to handle issues that concern the agitations of the citizens in Nigeria.
According to Junker,“It is the people’s right to agitate and make a request from their government; self-determination is a right enshrined in the United Nation Charter. The people of Biafra have every right to request for a referendum, they have been in this struggle for a while now they have never killed or shot a bullet instead they are the victims of attacks and murder.
Sundiata Post recalls that United States of America has penultimate day absolved IPOB of any terrorist act when it informed that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a terrorist organisation under US law, but also encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances.
According to U.S embassy, “Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organisation under US law.”
EU’s condemnation followed reported video footages of the brutal and inhuman activities of the Nigerian Army in the South-East region of Nigeria.
The videos showed various scenes of the invasion of communities; torture and killings of IPOB members, which have gone viral since the Nigeria Army launched its Operation Python Dance II to clamp down on the group agitating for self-determination.
“The entire EU hereby condemns the brutal attack on IPOB members and leadership under the pretentious disguise of a military exercise (Operation Python Dance). The Nigerian military is warned to adopt democratic tenets in handling citizens.
The EU will not sit and watch things go undemocratic in the largest economy of the West African region,” he warned.
Junker promised to raise the issues concerning the peoples’ request for a referendum among the caucus of the EU, stating that the Biafra request for a referendum was not different from that of the Catalonians in Spain and the Scots in Britain.
He said the Nigeria government must rise above the suppression of voices of dissent and handle issues with every tenet of maturity and democracy.
Earlier, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu had petitioned the European Union on the on-going military operation in southeast region of Nigeria.
In the petition, Kanu accused the army of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of the civilian populace in the southeast. He also petitioned the European Union High Commission, the Presidents of United States of America, Russia, Israel, United Kingdom and France.
In the petitioned dated September 14, the leader of the separatist group accused the Nigerian military of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of civilian populace in the southeast.
The letter written by the counsel to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, was addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the European Union High Commission, the presidents of United States of America, Russia and Israel.
Kanu in his letter called for the immediate intervention of the UN, the EU, the US and these other countries on the invasion of the military in the region.
He urged the comity of nations to prevail on the Nigerian government to suspend further military action in the South-East states of the country and withdraw ‘the rampaging troops’ from the region.
Sundiata Post further recalls that shortly after declaration of IPOB as terrorist group by the Federal High Court in Abuja last week, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the Federal Government would proceed to gazette the order proscribing the group.