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Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says the Nigerian army is not under any pressure because of the issue of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
IPOB was recently declared a terrorist organisation by the defence headquarters — a move that has been criticised by some Nigerians, including Senate President Bukola Saraki.
But Buratai said the military did not go against the provisions of the constitution in making the declaration.
The army chief, who spoke to journalists after addressing officers at the 2nd and 3rd quarters conference 2017 of the chief of army staff (COAS) in Abuja, said it is left for the federal government to take the final decision regarding the proscription of IPOB.
“You should understand the context in which the Nigerian army is operating. Nigerian army is part of the political consideration in the democratic system,” he said.
“It is part of the democratic process, is a product of the democratic governance, you know the military. We are not receiving any pressure; we are given what the constitution has provided for us.
“Constitutionally, what our responsibilities are for us, so we are not under any pressure whatsoever.
“Whatever anyone is saying, we will refer him back to the constitution. There are several provisions that give us those responsibilities and also to carry out such task as duly assigned by the government or by the constituted authority.
“Be rest assured that we don’t have any other role that is outside the constitution.
“As regards the proscription, this is what I want to give; the federal government will take a final decision on that. There are guidelines as provided in the act on the Terrorism Act and am sure the relevant government agencies am talking about will take appropriate steps whether to arrest or whether to do any other actions and we will receive the appropriate directives from the authorities.”
He also said Operation Python Dance in the south-east and other similar exercises were not new in the military circle.
“Training is a continuous exercise apart from the obvious exercises that you see but there are a lot of other exercises from different force of the Nigerian army and even from skills. So it is not a new thing, we have been training, we have been exercising on a regular basis,” he said.
“But once in a while we come and carry out a large scale exercise to harmonize all the aspects of training that have been thought in training institutions and unit formations.”

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