It was widely reported in the media that Senate President Bukola Saraki described the military declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation as unconstitutional, because in his Imperial Majesty’s consciousness, it did not follow due process. What an unfortunate, irresponsive, reckless and provocative statement from an occupier of an exalted public office that we assume ought to be better informed.
The declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation was made by the military based on its evaluation of the activities of this lawless group in its provocative and confrontational activities against national security. This was prior to the commencement of its operation Python Dance II in the South-East region.
In the discharge of its primary responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria as clearly stated in the constitution, the military only takes orders from the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for its deployment, either locally or internationally, and not on the description of how it should conduct its operations, which is guided by its rules of engagement in line with international standards.
The military, as a professional and disciplined institution, in carrying out its obligations, is guided by certain codes and conduct of which the assessment of the engagement and respect for the sanctity of human life is non-negotiable.
By declaring IPOB as a terrorist organisation, based on its activities, the Nigerian army has, within its constitutional mandate and in line with the tenets of global best military practices, served a note of warning to Nigerians in particular and the world at large, to beware of the group and that its engagement with IPOB, wherever it occurs within the geographical territory of Nigeria, will be treated along that line.
Until Senate President Bukola Saraki comes out to cite the relevant sections of the constitution that has been violated by the military in its on-field evaluations, in carrying out its primary responsibility, Nigerians should recognise the Senate President’s statement as only political.
– Nelson Ekujumi,