IGBO socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday, dared Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai to declare his said state-of-emergency in the South East, noting that he is assuming a power he does not have.
Ohanaeze stated this while reacting to a statement credited to Gen. Buratai that he threatened to impose a state of emergency in Igbo land following the crisis resulting from death of two Department of State Security (DSS) officials in Enugu, during a clash with some people under the aegis of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and security agents last month.
A statement signed by its Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Uche Achi-Okpagha said the organisation’s warning was made imperative because of Burutai’s failure to come out and deny the report credited to him.
“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, threatening to impose a state of emergency in the South East if governors of the states allowed any further attack on security forces in the states, a statement he has not denied. 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 finds it 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,” the statement reads.
Achi-Okpagha noted that while Ohanaeze decries violence in any form in the states, it takes particular exception to 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.
Therefore, the group wondered where the army chief derives the power to issue such a threat which under the country’s constitution can only be carried out by the National Assembly on demand by the president.