Wednesday, March 24, 2021 9:35 pm
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
A group, the Movement for the Survival of Ijaw Ethnic Nationalities (MOSIEND), has cautioned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, against going after Oduduwa and Biafra secessionist agitators like Sunday Igboho and Asari Dokubo.
The group warned that such move could escalate tension in the country and heat up the polity.
Recall that Sunday Igboho recently unilaterally declared that the South west part of the country was no longer part of Nigeria.
Asari Dokubo had also announced the establishment of Biafra Customary Government in which he incorporated some parts of the South east and South south as part of the territory.
But, Attahiru, last week in Uyo at the first Commanding Officers’ Workshop 2021, warned that the army will soon move against separatist agitators such as Sunday Igboho and Asari Dokubo.
“The Nigerian Army under my watch remains resolute and is poised more than ever before to decisively deal with individuals or groups that threaten the peace, security and stability of our great nation,” Attahiru had said.
But, the President of MOSIEND, Kennedy Tonjo-West, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said instead of dissipating its energy pursuing Igboho and Dokubo, the army should channel its efforts to flush out Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and armed herdsmen.
He argued that secession and self-determinism should be treated as constitutional and civil matters and left under the purview of the police and the Ministry of Justice.
He said the army would only distract itself from the mandate it received from President Muhammadu, if it began to run after Dokubo and Igboho.
He said: “Lt.-General Ibrahim Attahiru’s promotion and appointment as the Chief of Army Staff is seen as a commendable one as he has the requisite training and capacity to contain and exterminate Boko Haram, armed herdsmen and bandits across the country.
“The principle of secession and self-determination is a constitutional and legal matter hence, the proper person to make statement on the issue is Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, who is the chief legal officer of the federation, and not the COAS.”