Apex Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has tackled the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, over alleged threat to declare state of emergency in the south East.
In a statement on Wednesday by the acting Secretary General and National Publicity Secretary, Uche Achi-Okpaga, described the threat by Buratai as provocative. Ohanaeze wondered why the Chief of Army Staff failed to impose such in the north which according to it has become theatre of war.
“While Ohanaeze Ndigbo 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.
“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.
“We also wonders 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.
“It is 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,” the statement said.
Ohanaeze said the “reckless impunity of public officers and a tacit manifestation of the vacuum in governance at the federal level.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo believes the threat by 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.”