Nigeria Lawmakers to Probe Biafra Separatist Crisis, Saraki SaysBy
Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki said lawmakers will investigate the crisis that erupted in the country’s southeast following clashes between troops and supporters of a group campaigning for an independent state of Biafra.
The legislature “intends to embark on a fact-finding investigation aimed at determining what actually happened during the period of the military exercise in the southeast,” Saraki said in a statement on Twitter on Monday. “We want to be able to sift the facts from the fiction and determine who did what.”
The unrest last week in the cities of Umuahia and Aba, strongholds of the Indigenous People of Biafra, or Ipob, left several people dead and injured, after troops began a military exercise to rein in the separatist movement. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the group, threatened to disrupt state elections unless there’s a vote on secession. A bid to establish an independent Biafra state sparked a 1967-70 civil war that claimed more than a million lives.
Following the clashes, the military declared Ipob a terrorist group while governors of five states where the group is active jointly announced its proscription. Both the military and the governors breached existing laws by declaring the group terrorist or banning it, Saraki said.