Renowned political economist and former Presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi, has dismissed declaration by the Nigerian Government that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu are terrorists.
Speaking at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos, Utomi said though the pro-Biafra group may have constituted nuisance, but they are not a terrorist organisation.
The former Presidential candidate noted that the group reserved the right to express themselves.
According to Utomi, “People have the right to say they’ve been unjustly treated. To take away that right from them is to say you want to enslave them. When you talk about modern slavery, it’s the most grievous violation of human rights in the 21st century.
“I’ve not seen what terror they (IPOB) have committed. They are not, I repeat, quote me anywhere, any day, they are not a terrorist organisation.
“That’s just a political thing. It doesn’t make sense which way you look at it. It’s just a political thing. You can carve any name, you can be IPOB or ITOT, it’s just a name.
“Nigeria is going through a necessary and interesting phase of its evolution as a country. I am not one of those unduly worried about the things going on in the country. They are part of the thesis and anti-thesis that will produce synthesis that is a nation.’’
Recall that an Abuja Federal High Court had recently declared the activities of IPOB as “acts of terrorism”.
Against this backdrop, the Presidency had explained that the proscription of the group became inevitable because it needed to prevent members of the group from hurting themselves.