Political economist and former Presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi, has dismissed declaration by the Nigerian Government that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under its leader Nnamdi Kanu is a terrorist group.
Mr. Utomi made the dismissal while speaking at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos on Sunday.
He said though the pro-Biafra group may have constituted nuisance, but they are not a terrorist organization, adding that members of IPOB reserved the right to express themselves.
He said, “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.’’
An Abuja Federal High Court had recently granted an application sough by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, declaring IPOB a terror group.
Eminent legal scholars in the country have disagreed with the court’s order.