The Ohaneze Ndigbo has labelled the clampdown order on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, as inhuman and degrading.

The group said this in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Buratai had ordered Nigerian soldiers to ruthlessly deal with any group that plans to disrupt the forthcoming elections in the South Eastern part of the country.

Buratai said: “The activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and their splinter groups in the South Eastern part of the country is gaining momentum as the group is threatening to disrupt the 2019 electoral process. Their excesses must, therefore, be clamped down immediately.”

However, Chief Nnia Nwodo, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, noted that the order could be used to carry out killings in the part of the country and might also discourage the people from coming out to exercise their rights to vote due to fear.

He said: “Ohanaeze is disturbed that this kind of order might be misconstrued to execute carnage, drowning in shallow water and inhuman and degrading treatment on our youths as it happened in the last Operation Python Dance in Abia State.

“We hope this operation is not aimed at scaring the people of the South-East from coming out to cast their votes. We should be allowed to use our traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to restrain our children."

Nwodo maintained that IPOB is a peaceful organisation that is pushing for self-independence and has not been seen to employ the use of arms, despite killings and arrest of their members by the military in the last Operation Python Dance in 2017.

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