As the face-off between the Federal Government and Twitter persists, there are indications that some Western nations had earlier received a formal designation of the activities of IPOB and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, as terrorists.
A top Federal Government official, who made the disclosure, said the government, which turned in the petition almost two months ago, was surprised when a number of such Western diplomats issued a statement over the weekend on the Twitter ban.
The source said the statement completely ignored the violence being incited by Kanu, a concern the president’s deleted tweet sought to confront.
It said this information regarding the level of violence Kanu had been inciting and directly engaged with “are details that many of the Abuja based diplomats have already become aware of based on official communication from the Nigerian government.”
According to the source, details of the Federal Government’s communication to some diplomatic missions from Western nations are now beginning to emerge, including a clear designation of the group as terrorists.
Also in the communication is a formal request that the international community should treat IPOB and its leaders as criminals and terrorists in the manner of other known terrorist organisations around the world.
The source said that the Federal Government in that communication had explained to some of the Western countries’ embassies that “the Nigerian National Assembly, like nearly every parliament in the world, has already passed a law to counter terrorism and violent extremism in the country, viz; the Terrorism (Prevention) Act.
“Within that legal framework, the Nigerian authorities had sought and obtained a court order declaring and proscribing IPOB as a terrorist organisation (Order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Nigeria in SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017 – ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION V. IPOB dated 20th September 2017), which order was consequently published in the Federal Government of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 99 Vol. 104 as Terrorism (Prevention) (Proscription Order) Notice 2017.
” This, therefore, makes IPOB a terrorist organisation and following the 2017 order of proscription by the Federal High Court, IPOB filed an appeal (APPEAL NO: CA/ABJ/214/2018 – IPOB V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION) which is now pending before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, Nigeria.
“The implication of the provisions of Nigeria’s Terrorism Prevention Act on the issue at hand is that IPOB is an outlawed organisation.
” Whoever fraternises or supports the organisation is undermining Nigeria’s criminal legislations while also posing a threat to its national security and sovereignty.
” It must be stated that there are several groups in Nigeria who advocate restructuring of the country or even call for secession, yet they carry out their activities unhindered in so far as it is within the confines of the law.
” It is important to stress that IPOB was declared a terrorist organisation based on proven acts of terrorism.”
Giving an update on the number of attacks, the source stated that “in roughly under four months (from January to April) this year, IPOB has carried out over fifty-five (55) violent acts in various parts of Nigeria killing scores of people and destroying many properties.”
The top government official also disclosed that “Mr Kanu continues to broadcast online from his base in some western cities and continues to issue series of instructions to his militia and other members of the outlawed organisation, on acts of violence to be carried out within the territory of Nigeria.”
Equally, the source noted that “members of the outlawed organisation, in furtherance to these instructions, intensified their attacks on the specified targets.
” This has now become the pattern of its operations – Nnamdi Kanu issues instructions (from some city in the western world) and members of the outlawed organisation carry out these instructions in Nigeria.
“For example, a day after Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has confirmed to newsmen that Nnamdi Kanu has ordered members of the group to kill him and other South-East Governors, which orders were repeated on Radio Biafra, the private residence of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, in his hometown in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, was attacked and set ablaze and two of the security men attached to the house were killed,” the source said.
The Federal Government communication further declared that “ Nnamdi Kanu is intentionally seeking to manipulate the international community by pretending to be agitating for secession, while actively working towards destabilisation of the Nigerian nation through violence.”
The source further pointed out that “on 22nd April 2021, Nnamdi Kanu called on his militia and other members of IPOB to shut down all democratic processes in Anambra State; and capture, kill and decapitate all those he described as ‘monkeys.’”
According to the source, “a major lesson which can be learnt from history is that it is important to nip the activities of violent militia and terrorist groups in the bud. ”
It added that “it is also noteworthy that a profit-driven private entity like Facebook has blocked Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, out of its platform for violating its rules on harm and hate speech.
“It should be stated categorically that the Government of Nigeria should use every opportunity to record its strong objection to the falsehood and mischaracterisation of conditions in Nigeria, which sought to justify the violent acts of IPOB under the guise of fight against regional marginalisation.”