The Presidency commended Nigeria’s security agencies on Tuesday for their collaborative efforts in the pursuit of the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), accused Kanu of causing hardship to Nigerians in a statement.
He said Kanu’s arrest was the result of a closely coordinated international operation.
Shehu also justified the raid on the home of Sunday Igboho, a self-acclaimed activist whom he called a militant.
Despite criticism, Buhari’s administration respects the rights of citizens, he said.
In a statement, the government said: “Last week, we saw the increased collaboration of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, as they executed arrests with great coordination of individuals who had caused hardships among their fellow citizens.
Cross-border cooperation resulted in the arrest of the subversive leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group known for its murderous actions and virulent messages.
A closely coordinated international operation was executed, after which he was handed over to our National Intelligence Agency, and then returned to Nigeria to face the law.
Thousands of people have been killed as a result of violence inspired by IPOB, including authorities and law enforcement officials. There have been a total of fifty five (55) violent attacks, mostly located in the South-East, which have caused additional hardship for our hardworking and honest citizens, preventing them from earning a living and going about their normal lives.
According to the government, IPOB’s funding sources include proceeds from suspected illicit criminal activities. As a result of this singular action by our security forces, sanity, calm, and peace have now been restored to our communities who had previously lived in constant fear of these misguided elements.
As part of its continued diligent work, the State Security Service raided the residence of a militant ethnic Secessionist who has also been committing acts of terror by disturbing the peace under the guise of protecting fellow “kinsmen”.
His seditious and vile utterances have turned into vile and hateful speeches over the years, as he is known to have publicly expressed them. The government takes seriously the fundamental right of citizens to voice their opinions, and it recognizes this as a democratic principle.
A national armoury which attempts to undermine our unity will not be tolerated regardless of whether the plans are subtle or overt.
They should be treated the same by security agencies
The directives from Mr. President to Security Services regarding anyone seen with an AK-47 are clear and need no further explanation. Despite their origins and who they are, assault weapons are not the tools of peace-loving people, and as such, so should all security agencies treat them the same way.
We must commend our intelligence agencies for having succeeded with such dexterity, cunning, and secrecy in defending the country. Professionalism must be sustained and brought to bear as we work to remove from our society those who have found a new trade – targeting students, rural dwellers, and North-West citizens. Their efforts and sacrifice are recognized by the nation.”