The Chairman, Senate Committee on Mining, Power and Metallurgy, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, has faulted the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra and its categorisation as a terrorist organistion, saying it indirectly meant calling the people of the South Eastern region terrorists.
He said this while speaking about the state of the nation on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, on Thursday.
“I am from the South-East, I am a senator. I have the privilege of having to go outside of this country. You now say that the people from the South-East are terrorists, then I (am I also a terrorist?)
“I am not a member of IPOB. How will the foreign embassy, for example, know who is a member and who is not?”
Senator Abaribe, also wondered why members of IPOB should be compared to Boko Haram by being classified a terrorist group, stressing its members have been known to be non-violent in their agitations.
He added, “Let’s put it this way. If you come from a particular ethnic group and you are branded so to say, because of the activities of some people in that ethnic group.
“So, we asked the question, could there have been a better way of dealing with this? Nigerians have looked at the matter and have said, ‘How will you class IPOB and Boko Haram in the same platform? On what basis?”
According to the Senator, it is important for People from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria to be treated fairly and equally.
Abaribe, who represents Abia Central in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, said, “I want people from the South-East to feel that they are the legitimate part of this country, treated fairly and equally.
“The real issue and we made it very clear is that what everybody wants is a Nigeria that is fair to all. Not a Nigeria in which you will classify some people in a different way and some other people in a much different way