The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday declared that the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu was not in any military custody.
It also said the military did not in any way raid the home of Kanu, saying it watched the operation live and can justify that his home was not raided by the military.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, Director Defence Information, (DDI) Major Geneneral John Enenche, said the people that came out to attack the military were the Biafra Security Service and the Biafra National Guard, adding that it is not right for them to block the roads and be collecting tolls and intimidating law-abiding citizens of the state.
On the proscription of IPOB by the Federal Government and South East governors, Enenche noted that the statement he issued two weeks ago did not say “proscription” but a “warning” to the parents to warn their children, adding that due process was followed by the government before proscribing them as a terrorist organisation by a competent court.
He said: “It is not the responsibility of DHQ to declare Nnamdi Kanu wanted. Nnamdi Kanu is not in the custody of the military. “Nobody raided Kanu’s home and I stand to be justified not from the information I got. I was watching it live, was monitoring it live, speaking with them on the ground.
“I think I later confirmed that there was nothing to actually justify the legality of IPOB members mounting roadblocks. I saw the militancy, nobody told me and I saw the actions there. We are still investigating.
“The military did not proscribe IPOB. Due process was followed to proscribe them. The job of the military was to diagnose security issues and warned the public of consequences and that is part of our media operations.
“We did our operations very well otherwise that weekend would have been the longest weekend in this country and we are also very careful in choosing our words and we know the law very well.”
On whether DHQ is not alarmed about the militarisation of the country, a state in which the United States of America claimed the country was, the defence spokesman noted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria was not alarmed by what is being analysed by the US, adding that people understand in a different perspective, but the military sees and understands in a different perspective, too.
“So, it is the military that would tell you the signs and symptoms of a security ailment because it is only a doctor that can tell you that somebody has cancer or malaria. Whatever another person is seeing they will not see it in military perspective.
“Other countries have passed through this, if you go into history, before getting to where they are as developed countries today. Like in China you see one policeman inside a car, you hardly see a military man outside and it depends on the developmental process and what you have passed through. That’s why in simple terms I will tell you that we are not alarmed at all,” he said.
Enenche added that the DHQ reaffirms its unalloyed loyalty of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
Reacting to the military statement, Kanu’s lawyers, Ifeanyi Ejioffor told The Guardian on phone yesterday that the military personnel had the last contact with Kanu, they should therefore produce him.
“We are not moved by the press statement. The military doesn’t need to issue press statement, it is better to come to court and say so. Let them come and tell Nigerians where they kept Kanu. They are the ones that raided his house. Nigerians know the truth,” Ejioffor said.