Army vows to stop Pro-Biafra agitators

Army has pledged its readiness to suppress protest marches and demonstrations being carried out by pro-Biafran groups.

Pro-Biafra protesters in Owerri on November 13, 2015

The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army has pledged its readiness to suppress insurrection in the South East and South South geopolitical zones whenever it was called upon to do so.

Addressing newsmen in Enugu on Monday, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations in the division, Col. Hamza Gambo, said the statement had become imperative because of "the marked increase in the activities of pro-Biafran groups’’ in the areas.

Gambo listed the activities to include protest marches, demonstrations and some cases of outright lawlessness and threat to lives and properties.

"The truism of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is not contestable particularly as it is guaranteed by the constitution.

"Instructively, this constitutional guarantee does not allow for abuse of other person’s freedom and safety.

"It is pertinent to note that the same constitution mandates the armed forces of Nigeria to suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authority to restore order when called upon to do so.

"To this end, if and when the Nigerian Army is called upon to oplay its legally mandated role, it shall do so with utmost sense of duty and responsibility to the nation,’’ he said.

The spokesman said the army would act within its rules of engagement and called on law-abiding citizens to go about their normal activities.

He said that the disturbances were orchestrated by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Soverign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Gambo said that the agitations had led to an increased sense of insecurity in the regions.


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