A leading Igbo socio-cultural group has condemned army Chief Tukur Buratai’s alleged threat to impose a state of emergency on the Southeastern part of the country.
The Army boss was alleged to have threatened that the states in the South-East would be placed in a state of emergency if governors of the zone allowed any further attack on security forces.
Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, the acting Secretary-General and National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, while stating that it does not endorse or support any form of violence, said that Mr Buratai’s statement was incendiary and an “open threat and warning to South-East governors who, by the country’s constitution, are chief security officers of their states, but are lame ducks in practice as all security commands come from Abuja.
“It was particularly provocative for General Buratai to issue such a warning to governors of the South-East where relative peace prevails while he has not done the same in the North Central, North West, and North East which have become theatres of war, and where army posts and bases have been subjected to incessant attacks by the Boko Haram, ISWA/ISIS, bandits, and Fulani herdsmen, killing and maiming Nigerian soldiers.”
Mr Achi-Okpaga wondered where Buratai got the power to issue such a threat which under the country’s constitution can only be executed by the National Assembly acting on the president’s instructions.
The statement added: “It is highly surprising that an army chief who was watching as the governor of Katsina State was negotiating and taking pictures with armed bandits would turn round to threaten to impose a state of emergency in states where unarmed citizens are agitating against the harsh and inhuman conditions they have been subjected to by their country.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes that the threat by General Buratai is a vindication of the belief that the South East is being regarded as a conquered territory, exemplified in the army of occupation stationed in the area.”