Nigerian Government Is Provoking Violence and Embarking on Illegal Action By Deploying Troops to Terrorize People of the Southeastern Nigeria. - Ebun Olu Adegboruwa Esq (Legal Practitioner)
In this interview with Channells TV, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa Esq addresses the legality or illegality of the Nigerian Military's decision to deploy troops to the southeast. Video of interview could be viewed below.
Law Enforcement is the Duty of the police and not of the military. Where the Police has not asked for backup, the military cannot and should not be deployed against civilians. It is not the duty of the Army to arrest kidnappers or armed robbers.
This subject (legal issue) has been litigated to court on three different occasions and the court held against the deployment of the army.
What is going on in the Southeast is an agitation not an insurrection, and the Federal Government is provoking it by involving the Military instead of allowing the Police to do its job
IPOB has been in existence before the coming of Buhari administration. If there is a violation of law, the government should act in accordance with the law to deal with it.
Agitation has benefited other regions whether in the North, in the Niger Delta, so the South-east has a right to agitate for what they want.
I am in support of the rights of Nnamdi Kanu to protest or agitate. However, I will like him to clarify exactly what he wants. Not moving from one issue to another. Is it referendum, Biafra, No election in Anambra, or what?
Political undertone – APC did not win votes in the last election in southeast and they do not expect to win votes from there in the coming election, that is the political undertone to what is happening there.
After the annulment of the June 12 1993 election, radio Kudirat was set up to agitate against the annulment and oppose Military rule. That is the same thing IPOB is doing with Radio Biafra.
The Military is trying to take over the role of the Police. The National Assembly should by way of a motion ask the Military to go back to the Barracks and submit to civilian authority – the is a civilian administration not a military government.
We cannot continue to wake up to people with camouflage and guns every day.
Section 34 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution says that “every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person…”
If Kanu has said anything to incite violence, you arrest him and charge him to court. You do not send army to shut his mouth.
Section 39 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution says that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”
Boko Haram was like an agitation which escalated because the state eliminated their leader Alhaji Mohammed Diko Yusuf. That provoked the crisis we have today. So, if you follow the historical narrative, picking out an individual for elimination has never helped quell an agitation. Adaka Boro was killed. Ken Saro-Wiwa was killed. It didn’t stop the Niger-Delta Militancy. So, the State should go back and learn from history.
His thoughts resonate with the people of the southeast. He needs support beyond the southeast, because during the June 12 agitation there were support beyond the west.
Admiral Ndubusi Kanu, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Kpariwame of Niger Delta, Balarabe Musa, all identified with June 12th. Hatred speech for other tribes will not help that course. The Governors should be able to reign in some kind of discussion and let there be a document that outlines indeed what they want to do. This is not the same situation with Boko Haram.
APC promised to set up commission to be able to review all the agitation in the comity to be able to embark on reconciliation. We are almost in 2019 and the party cannot get its house in order. That political party is not in existence.
The president owes this nation a responsibility to unite us. We have become more divided than ever before. It is for the President to sit down with his cabinet or advisers to fiund out how to address these agitations.
We must recognize all agitations whether for resource control or for existence or whatever it may be. We must approach it in a manner that must not terrorize people. There are complaints in the southeast about harassment of law abiding citizens. We cannot continue like that. The Governors of the southeast must ensure that they have constant dialogue with Nnamdi Kanu to ensure that this does not escalate but the first condition of this is that the troops should go back to their barracks. Otherwise it will keep provoking that tension.
Nnamdi Kanu gave a reason to withdraw from a meeting with the Governors because he stated there is an attempt to assassinate him. If that is true, then preservation of life is the first rule. But beyond that, it is the “Operation Python Dance” that is provoking it. If the operation is withdrawn and the Police is allowed to take control of maintaining peace, the dialogue can go on.
When Odua People’s Congress (OPC) started in the West, it started with violence. It was asking for self-determination and all manner of agitation until people started engaging them and educating them and today OPC has contributed to stability.
The East has been ready for development since after the civil war but the Fedral government neglected them. What is going on in the southeast is a matter of self-development by the indigenes. They are asking for federal presence. There is no way you can stop this agitation. What stops somebody in leadership from making sure some development happens there.
Example is what recently happened with appointments at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). No single person from the southeast was among those appointed to the NNPC leadership position. These things provoke a lot of agitation. If we continue to say they should not secede, then bring them on board and recognize them.
But in view of the current problem we are facing now, the Federal government has embarked on illegal action by deploying troops contrary to the acts of the National Assembly and without the approval of the National Assembly. An urgent motion has to be passed by the National Assembly to address the issue and all activists, lawyers, Nigerian Bar Association, and other people of good conscience should be able to appeal to the President to withdraw that directive and let the Police take over the maintenance of Law and order.
Video courtesy of Channels TV Youtube
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