Chris Steven, Abuja
Irked by reports of refusal of the United State to recognize the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation, a human right group, Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has asked the US government to respect Nigeria’s sovereignty and it’s laws which deal especially with internal security issues.
The Centre while condemning the stance of the US embassy in Nigeria to the effect that the IPOB is not a terrorist group, also said Nigerians are disappointed to learn about the position of the United States Embassy on the issue even after a competent Nigerian court has issued an order designating the group as such.
CESJET in a statement by Isaac Ikpa, its executive secretary, stated that the assertion by the embassy spokesman ignored the fact that Nigeria is a sovereign nation that does not need the approval of another country to contain terrorists’ threats within its borders
He said Russell Brooks’ comment is at variance with US President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance against terrorists irrespective of their geographical location.
Ikpa cautioned that the US must not be seen as having double standards for treating terrorists. He stated that the US must therefore ensure that Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, which the US authorities have demonstrated enormous support for in the last two years, is not jeopardized in pursuit of political correctness.
The statement reads, “The US Embassy must note that Nigeria has every right to prevent known threats from growing same way the US placed travel ban on nationals of eight countries of the world to keep terrorists out of its territories despite the global outcry and international criticisms that did nothing to reverse the action.
“CESJET therefore condemns the US Mission’s decision not to acknowledge that IPOB is a terror group. As opposed to rushing to making such distracting comment the proper thing was to have undertaken an appreciation of the threats posed by IPOB to peace within the West Africa sub region.
Ikpa explained that anyone or group that threatens the security of a nation, with attendant economic, political and humanitarian crisis, fits into the definition of a terrorist or a terrorist organization and IPOB’s activities have so far confirmed same as witnessed by our security agencies, independent security reports etc.
He stated further, “The US Embassy in Nigeria must therefore look beyond its text book approach to what is a credible terrorists’ risk to Nigeria to work towards including IPOB in the database of US terrorist organizations. It must be noted that time is running out to do this since IPOB members have steady access to the US and it is a matter of time before they begin to export the evils they commit in Nigeria to that country.”