The governors of the South-East states have proscribed all the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
They called on the leaders of IPOB and all other aggrieved groups to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the committee of governors, Ohaneze Ndigbo, and the members of the National Assembly from the zone through the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum.
The governors of the five South-East states took the decision during a five-hour closed-door meeting at the Government House in Enugu, which was attended by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo John Nwodo, and the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Lt-Gen, Adamu Abubakar.
Among the resolutions made during the meeting is an appeal to the President to withdraw the military in the South East at the moment.
Although the governors “reinforced their commitment to one united and indivisible Nigeria”, they restated their call for the restructuring of Nigeria “to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian”.
Also, they assured all Nigerians, indigenes and non-indigenes, in the region of their safety, adding that they have been in touch with the Northern Governors Forum, which assured them of the safety of South-East indigenes living in the North.
On the recent violence in the region and allegations against the military and IPOB, the governors said investigations were ongoing and “appropriate action will be taken against anyone culpable”.
Another resolution at the meeting is that the governorship election, which has been fixed for November 18, should hold as scheduled.
“Accordingly, we appeal to our President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to, please, withdraw the military in the South-East Zone while the police perform their traditional role of maintaining law and order within this period,” they said.
The Defence Headquarters had earlier on Friday declared IPOB a terrorist organisation.
In a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche, the Defence Headquarters listed reasons for the declaration to include the formation of a Biafra Secret Service, claimed formation of Biafra National Guard, and unauthorised blocking of public access roads.
Others are extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal roadblocks, and militant possession and use of weapons (stones, Molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others) on a military patrol on September 10, 2017.
IPOB has, however, denied the allegations, insisting that it is a non-violent organisation.
“It is very, very laughable that that (declaration) is coming from a military intelligence officer. One, IPOB is a non-violent movement,” Emmanuel Kanu, the younger brother of IPOB leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, who spoke on behalf of the group told Channels Televison in a phone interview.
“We do not carry arms; we’ve never asked anyone to kill for us neither have we killed anyone. If you look at our records, our record is clean and straight.”