Three days after a leader of the House of Representatives criticised Senate President, Bukola Saraki for his views on the proscription of the separatist group, IPOB, more lawmakers have joined in criticising the number three citizen.

A group of lawmakers from the House of Representatives, under the aegis of Progressive Caucus, described Mr. Saraki’s statement as shocking beyond belief.

The Senate President had in a statement on Monday described the Nigerian military’s declaration of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organization as illegal. He also said the South-east governors who announced the proscription of IPOB had no powers to do so. He said there were legal processes to making such declarations.

The military later retracted its declaration, after which the federal government secured a court order to formally label the group a terrorist organization.

However, a day after Mr. Saraki’s statement, the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, criticised the Senate President.

On Friday, the Progressive Caucus, in a statement signed by three members of the House of Representatives said Mr. Saraki “willy-nilly endorsed the murderous activities of the proscribed” group.

The statement was signed by Aiyu Madaki, Sani Zorro, and Mohammed Soba, all members of the House.

The lawmakers alleged that: “In fact, a clear pattern of overt support to the leader of the terrorist group had since been established under the watch of the Senate President, for some time now."

“In the past his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, had not only hosted, but put the full paraphernalia of his office – bullet-proof cars, uniformed policemen, operatives of the Department of the State Security Service (DSS), and full complement of his staff on our nation’s payroll, to give solidarity and support to a secessionist leader facing treason charges for levying war against Nigerians and the Nigerian state.”

Read the full statement by the lawmakers below.

We were shocked beyond belief when our attention was brought to the statement credited to the Senate President, Abubakar Saraki in which he willy-nilly endorsed the murderous activities of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), based on arguments that are bereft of reason, rationality or logic. In fact, a clear pattern of overt support to the leader of the terrorist group had since been established under the watch of the senate president, for some time now.

In the past his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, had not only hosted, but put the full paraphernalia of his office – bullet-proof cars, uniformed policemen and operatives of the department of the state security service (DSS), and full complement of his staff on our nation’s payroll, to give solidarity and support to a secessionist leader facing treason charges for levying war against Nigerians and the Nigerian state.

On another count, only a self-hating leader devoid of human compassion could cover his eyes from the horror and bestiality being meted to Nigerians not indigenous to the so-called Biafra enclave over these past years, but will be excited at rushing to offer protection to Nigeria’s misguided groups, while thumbing down our nation’s defence forces that have continued to sacrifice their lives, so we may survive as a nation under God.

Pray, is the Senate President unaware of the more than 1,900 Internally Displaced Persons presently taking refuge at the Aba Central Mosque, or the more than 800 IDPs now sheltering in the Aba Central Police Station after the gruesome murder of its divisional police officer and his men?

Is the Senate President not aware of the killing fields, Sabon Fili, where innocent sellers of fruits were subjected to the gory, slow, but painful deaths, or the killing of many and the destruction of the property of Northerners at Oyibo, in Rivers State? 

What has he said about the premeditated murder of 9 other Nigerians of Northern extraction at Asaba, Delta State – all of which have been in circulation especially in the social media, in the last few days? 

It is indeed a tragedy of immense proportion if the Senate President will close his eyes to these genocidal acts, and instead attempt to incite an armed rebel group against state actors, just to score cheap political points.

At this juncture, it has become necessary to ask all conscionable representatives of the Nigerian people, civil society activities, labor, and its social partners, to stand up and be counted by discharging their civic responsibility of exposing what is undoubtedly another hot pursuit against the Rohingya's of 21st century Nigeria.

Bukola Saraki

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