The people of Biafra are not terrorist
and they have every right to request for a referendum, The President of
the European Union said.
The European Union (EU) yesterday,
condemned and rejected the unilateral classification of the Indigenous
People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organization by the Nigerian
The Defence Headquarters of the Nigeria
Army on Friday declared IPOB a terrorist organisation, claiming that its
members had become violent and a security threat in the country.
But the 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 selfdetermination.
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.
“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.
“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
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.
The letter, which had attachment to it
of videos and photographs of victims of the alleged army attack, stated
that the hostility against the IPOB members has escalated to other
neighbouring states resulting in bloody casualties. “Unarmed civilians
largely made up members of the Indigenous People of Biafra are now being
tortured and murdered in cold blood on a daily basis.
We have no doubt that the undisclosed
reason for deploying troops to south eastern states by the President
Buhari-led administration is to attack unarmed and defenceless members
of the Indigenous People of Biafra who are merely exercising their
constitutional guaranteed rights to self-determination,” the letter