IPOB: Jonathan advises Buhari, urges Council of State meeting

President Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan

A former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has weighed in on the escalating crisis between the Nigerian security agencies and separatist elements in the South-east with a call for President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a Council of State meeting.

Separatist tensions flared across the region this week, with Abia State, the epicentre of secession agitations, declaring an extended curfew in major towns; while postponing resumption of primary and secondary school students.

In a Facebook update, Friday, Mr. Jonathan said his observations indicated that the unrest could mushroom into a full-blown conflict if not immediately checked by the country’s leaders.

“Perhaps it is time for the Council of State to intervene and offer its wise counsel,” Mr. Jonathan said.

Extant membership of the Council of ‎State, an advisory body for critical national issues, according to Section 5, Third Schedule of the Constitution, is as follows:

The President, chairman of the council;Vice-President, deputy chairman; all former presidents and all former heads of the state, all former Chief Justices of Nigeria and the incumbent President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

All incumbent state governors and the Attorney-General of the Federation are also members of the body.

Mr. Jonathan’s appeal came hours after the Nigerian military proclaimed the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a terrorist organisation, a controversial move that capped a week of renewed ethnic and tribal skirmishes.

The Nigerian military began its latest physical onslaught against IPOB with the unexpected presence of soldiers at the residence of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in his native Abia State on Sunday.

At least three people, including a soldier and a policeman, were reportedly injured in the aftermath, which remained largely disputed.

The police on Sunday confirmed the death of an officer from the violence,

An official military statement said soldiers were on a parade exercise when some hoodlums allegedly pelted them with stones and broken bottles in Afara Ukwu, Mr. Kanu’s neighbourhood just north of Umuahia, the state capital.

But Mr. Kanu disproved this, saying through his lawyer that the troops’ arrival caused immediate panic in the area and also part of an elaborate state-sponsored plot to assassinate him.

The police said the soldiers retreated to their base after the incident and calm had returned by Sunday evening.

The troops returned to Mr. Kanu’s neighbourhood on Tuesday, with the Nigerian Army stating again that the soldiers were only on a routine parade through the area.

But Mr. Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said his client could not be found after the encounter, which reportedly lasted for several hours.

The soldiers also allegedly assaulted residents around the area, with some journalists getting caught in the crossfire ‎for taking pictures.

The military parade was billed as a precursor to the formal launch of Operation Python Dance II, an exercise the Army said was aimed at curbing violent crimes across the region.

Governor Okezie Ikpeaze expressed misgivings about the situation, saying it could have grave security and economic impact on the state.

The governor recognised the supremacy of the Nigerian state and Constitution but urged the federal government to consider the larger wellbeing of the state’s residents in quelling secession squabbles.

Mr. Jonathan’s latest statement was similarly tailored to accommodate the duty of the Buhari administration and the plight of aggrieved citizens.

“In as much as there may be a need to enforce order, there is a greater need to reinforce our humanity and treat Nigerian citizens humanely whether they be from the North or South,” the former president urged.

“Nothing justifies the desecration and destruction of religious places of worship or a police station,” he added. “But even more so, nothing justifies the endangering of human life.”

It is yet unclear if Mr. Buhari would be positively disposed to the idea of a Council of State meeting as part of his administration’s strategy to curtailing the separatist threats, which had spread to the North Central.

Calls and text messages seeking comments from presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, were not answered on Saturday.

The administration has been locked in bitter confrontation with supporters of IPOB since Mr. Kanu was first arrested in October 2015 after sneaking into the country from the United Kingdom.
He was charged alongside three other members of his group by the Nigerian government. He was granted bail in April 2017.

Amidst his trial, Mr. Kanu continues to push for Igbo secession, while regularly putting his popularity to test.

On May 30, thousands of residents in the Igbo-dominated eastern part of the country complied with a stay-at-home order which Mr. Kanu urged in memory of the 1967 Civil War.

At least 500,000 Igbo were said to have been killed during the war, which ended in 1970.

Last month, reports emerged that IPOB had launched a ‘secret service’ to protect its members and preempt any clampdown by security agencies with its own counter-intelligence.

But his exploits have not gone without notice by other ethnocentric elements across the country.

Leaders of Hausa youth-based groups which called for a mass exodus of Igbo from the North in June justified their widely-condemned action as a response to the activities of Mr. Kanu and his group.

The Northern youth later withdrew their threat and assured Igbo of peaceful coexistence in the region beyond the October 1 deadline they initially issued.

Mr. Buhari, who returned to the country on August 19 after 103 days of medical treatment in London, was equally taken notes of IPOB’s activities.

Two days after using his August 21 address to reaffirm Nigeria’s indivisibility, the president ordered military chiefs to immediately neutralise all threats to reaffirm Nigeria’s indivisibility.‎

The military swiftly launched the second face of its South-east security exercise, Operation Python Dance II.

The first edition of the exercise ended in December 2016, with military declaring it a huge success over serious crimes across the region.

Friday’s designation of IPOB as a terrorist group appeared an actualisation of the president’s order, even though its legality had been put into question by critics.

Mr. Buhari had been criticised for failing to follow a precedent set by Mr. Jonathan, his immediate predecessor who grappled with the Boko Haram sect throughout his tenure.

Mr. Jonathan had procured an approval of the Federal High Court before proclaiming Boko Haram a terror organisation in a May 2013 federal gazette.

The Nigerian military did seem to have obtained a court order before proclaiming IPOB a terrorist group, a move that could contradict the Terrorism Act.

When PREMIUM TIMES asked about the legal basis for declaring IPOB a terror group, John Enenche, spokesperson for the Defence Headquarters who announced the proscription Friday, said he was “not a lawyer”.

Nonetheless, the move appeared to have been backed by South-east governors, who followed with their own prescription order a few hours later.

The governors said Mr. Kanu’s activities were “getting out of control” and it was time to put him in check.


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  • Ignaze

    See you! You could not summon a council of state meeting over boko haram. You are now an adviser.

  • JasV

    Will this ogogoro drunk man get a corner to sit down with his mama pissy pissy?

    • Julius


  • Agba

    ALERT….;To all lovers of freedom,the invasion of South East have an agenda,is to provoke crisis in Nigeria and the quit notice,if there is serious crisis in the land,because as of today 25 STATES is occupy by Nigeria army,coup detat is set to protect hausa fulani interest,All the region must rise up and defend your region because the hour has come.ABO ORO LANSO FUN OMOLUWABI to ba de inu a di odindi.

    • tundemash

      Mr. Agbaya, keep cl0wning yourself.

      When MASSOB members were being killed in 2012 by Jonathan’s security agencies, did he call National Council of State meeting ?


      Dumbo Jo is a mistake we would like to forget, let the mor0n, who was drunk while your destiny was being stolen, go and sit down jeje in Otuoke,

  • Frank Bassey


    • tundemash

      Mor0n, when MASSOB members were being killed in 2012 by Jonathan’s security agencies, did he call National Council of State meeting ?


      Dumbo Jo is a mistake we would like to forget, let the mor0n, who was drunk while your destiny was being stolen, go and sit down jeje in Otuoke,

      • Frank Bassey

        We have the worst mistake at hand now; worst than GEJ. Think of the killings by Fulani Herdsmen which I know your mother’s concubine must be one of them. How is Nigeria today?

  • Enyi

    I tire for this man o, you did not convene one in your time, when Boko Haram overan 1/3 of Nigeria!

    Abeg Sai Baba all the way jare
    I am even learning a new dance step, Python Dance!

  • Dan Arewa

    The Nigerian Military were on extrajudicial killing of North Easterners when Ihejiraka and Mimima were COASs and You GEJ their commander, you never set any committee check how innocent young children were suffering in military detention cells.
    Many young boys up til now were never seen by their parents. The North have to look helplessly when you show then that you cannot buy military hardware from other countries except USA. Countries in East Europe and Asia have good military hardware but you allow Boko Harram to become deadly because you want to put some state on State Of Emergency so that election will not hold.
    Shame on you and all those that sympathize with Biafrud terrorist organization.

    • aisha ani

      True talk, Karma is a B*t*h.

  • Apostel

    Is he afraid that Mamma Piss will be imprisoned as a supporter of a terrorist organization?

  • Emeka

    This shows clearly Kanu was sponsored by some recent advocates of dialogue… I said it prior to this time, that Nnamdi Kanu was getting part of his funding from GEJ, Dasuki, and few treasury looter suspects, who are currently on trial, though via proxies.

    • band olu

      U are correct, it’s obvious those who lost d 2015 elections & looters are behind d agitations going on & they wish it will continue but have realised this govt is about to put an end to it…They know their game is up & this one is now coming out to demand for a council of state meeting…There is no need for any meeting, this matter has been settled so Jona & his looting gang should look for another group to sponsor…

    • Tommy Soto

      excellent analysis mr. man!

  • Bello Muhammad Sharada

    I agree with your position GEJ to table it before THE council of State meeting.. IPOB case is political and it can ony be solved politically, especially issue of Biafra is in the mind of every Igbo in Nigeria or elsewhere, East is synnonmous with Biafra, militrisation is not the best way to handle it, moreso in the democratic set up . BUT where the problem lies was; there were no efforts from Igbo leaders to persuade Nanmdi Kanu to change approach, even after the stringent bail he secured. His method is not like that of Scotish, Irish, Catalans and many others, BUT rude,unruly and intolerant.
    Igbo have genuine case to seek for reconfiguration or restructuring of the polity espicially with the way PMB is handling SS, SE mindset, their grievences should be channelled with decorum, and in the best interest of all.
    I appeal to Buhari to order Buratai to halt this army occupation in the East, to suspend the designation of IPOB as militant organisation . Let Kanu be apprehended, his bail revoked and let This Arewa Youth chaps be arrested and prosecuted and Let Igbo pursue their agenda logically within the confine of law.

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Which arewa youth,for what crime? Abeg clear your eyes you dey sleep.

      • Bello Muhammad Sharada

        Those youth who give notice for all Igbo to quit Arewa by October 1. Don’t they know this will overheat the polity and fanned embers of hatred and led to bad consequences?

        • Saleh Ngaski

          Sharada are you in this country? Well, you are entitled to your opinion

        • Julius

          So they should be threatening the country ?

        • systematic

          Am very show you are not in this country. that is y u sound like this

    • aisha ani

      I love this part, “his method is not like that of Scotish, Irish, Catalans and many others, BUT rude,unruly and intolerant”. You will not get far by been rude and intolerant. Kanu will not give up, he is enjoying his new status way too much and this is going to end badly.

  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    Nothing we no go here. Fanikayode don talk,fayose don rant,obasanjo don cry,now jona dey advice,some lawyers self dey quote law,ohaneze self dey condemn, meanwhile governors dey proscribe. Where were you when this monster was growing, you were all maintaining a conspiracy of silence. Now that a decision is being taken,all dicks and Harry are all out to make a show. You evil elites have lost in this fight. Buhari is in power and God is on his side,so go to hell. You have planned to cause mayhem but God is quickly pushing you to shame. May your evil plans fail.


      No CHRISTIANS speaking.

      You didn’t think this insult will stand did you?

      • tundemash

        AFRICAL LIAR, if Dumbo, OBJ and FFK are yopur example of Christians, u are d@ft beyond reasoning.

        Meanwhile, when MASSOB members were being killed in 2012 by Jonathan’s security agencies, did he call National Council of State meeting ?


        Dumbo Jo is a mistake we would like to forget, let the mor0n, who was drunk while your destiny was being stolen, go and sit down jeje in Otuoke,

  • Rommel

    Finally the sponsors of IPOB are making themselves known, Nigeria will survive

    • band olu

      I know some pple say d man is daft but i did not know he is this daft! …Who does he think he’s fooling?? ….

      • aisha ani

        The man thinks he can run for president again.

    • systematic

      Good comment

  • Tommy Soto

    No buddy, you advise President Buhari where and how to recover all the stolen loot during your term in office and stfu on present policy.


      Christians vs Muslims FULL BLOWN WAR coming….

      The cowardly insult by Muslims will be dealt with. The killings will be stopped.
      Sunni/Saddam Treatment recommended for Nigeria. Q.E.D.

      • Tommy Soto

        How the colonial masters from the UK would love a religious war in Nigeria so they can put another looter regime back in Aso Rock. It’s not gonna happen.

      • tundemash

        Mr. AFRICAN LIAR, when MASSOB members were being killed in 2012 by Jonathan’s security agencies, did he call National Council of State meeting ?


        Dumbo Jo is a mistake we would like to forget, let the mor0n, who was drunk while your destiny was being stolen, go and sit down jeje in Otuoke,

        • AFRICANER

          Unwittingly, you are advancing my point, which is that the Nigerian Military, and in fact, the state, should be violently disbanded; it’s a terrorist organization.

          You went on to recite other alleged atrocities, fine then, let’s disband it, it’s an instrument of terror and oppression. So, shut your mouth then, tundemess.

  • Julius

    This is coming from a man that BK took third of the country territory when he was the President. I didn’t see him attending
    or calling for council of States meeting to get the territories back. Now, he wants a meeting. Sure !!

  • dami

    Why doesn’t Jonathan call Kanu to one side and call him or order? Why must it be the presidency that must act? Or is it because Jonathan and his type are sponsoring Kanu? With funds looted from the FG’s coffers with Gej’s assistance?
    Gej – if you have nothing wise to say pls keep quiet and stop trying to take us for a very wild ride.

    • systematic

      A very good comment

    • Jon

      How did Buhari who allegedly looted Petroleum Trust Fund become President?

      So that Nigeria May Know:
      The former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was tried, convicted and executed by hanging for murdering 122 Iraqi citizens in Dujail Province of Iraq. Terrorist Buhari has killed more than 122 Nigeria citizens and as such, should face similar fate like Saddam Hussein.

      Isn’t that supposed to be justice for the victims massacred by evil Buhari?

      Buhari and his parasitic Hausa/Fulani terrorists belong to the axis of evil

      Furthermore, Buhari should be arrested in the United States and hand him over to ICC ethnic cleansing and human right abuses.

      • dami

        Jon the dreamer…wake up….and wake up quickly.




    • 0tile

      Long live Biafra
      Long live Oduduwa Republic
      Death to anti freedom fighters

  • systematic

    Johna we don’t need ur advice pls.just stay in ur village

    • Akien-Alli

      You don’t want the former president to come in but when this event escalate war and oil wells are blew up you will the one to cry for Dr. Jonathan assistant. Don’t start a war you can end. Be-warned!!!

      • tundemash

        When MASSOB members were being killed in 2012 by Jonathan’s security agencies, did he call National Council of State meeting ?


        Dumbo Jo is a mistake we would like to forget, let the mor0n, who was drunk while your destiny was being stolen, go and sit down jeje in Otuoke,

        • 0tile

          Idiót stop your tribal name calling, the ethnic cleanser Buhari is worse than ebola disease.

    • 0tile

      You just want to hear about more ethnic cleansing in Igbo land.


    Some people are dancing the death dance with Buhari.

    Buhari has not addressed the country because he is dying, if not dead.

    This military bull is a distraction.

    How long is he going to play this game?

    Have you ever seen a president owho neglected to address his country in these crises?

    God has cut his dirty tongue.

    • tundemash

      AFRICAN LIAR, we don’t need any address. If u need any address, let your mini-god, Kanu, come out of hiding and address you.

  • Akien-Alli

    It is unfortunate and disheartened that a journalist like Samuel Ogundipe can not edit his scribe before publishing it. How can Mr. Samuel Ogundipe addressed and negated the academic title of our former president calling Mr. Jonathan. This shows your hatred for the former President. It is obvious you are one of those who wrote hate-comments showing your disgust for Dr Goodluck Jonathan who has been seen as the best democratic President Nigeria has ever produced.

    • musa aliyu

      Yes the best ipob sponsor who is using them, thinking he can get a pound of flesh for loosing election that would have allowed him to loot us dry! Ewu nama

    • tundemash

      Mor0n, do u know former President Obama was a professor of law but he doesn’t carry the title like a chieftancy title.

      • 0tile

        Idiót, what has Obama got to do with this ethnic cleansing by your god Buhari? What is Buhari’s own academic qualification? If Buhari was a doctor in any field do you think he wouldn’t flaunt the title seeing what an egomaniac he is?

    • aisha ani

      The academic title is questionable.

  • musa aliyu

    From their fruits we shall know them! The sponsors don dey show up. Continue singing the blunt song, lark!

  • Salmanu Gwarzo

    Why didn’t you call for the national council meeting at the inception of book haram?

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Infact! president Muhammadu Buhari, must realize that such a strategic case of IPOD-led by Nnmadi Kanu, is the importance of the council of state consisting of former heads of state, and former presidents of Nigeria, who must all be summon to a National council of state, meeting in Abuja, by president Muhammadu Buhari. That is how democracy works at a crucial moment in the life of a nation.
    @Akien Alli: You are one of the titles crazy Nigerians, either former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,was addressed with Doctor Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, or Mr.Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, what difference does it make if you are operating in a more civilize environment.Only problem with GEJ. is that he led Nigeria, and supervised the widespread looting,stealing and embezzlement, of our national funds and asset, as his oil minister, Deizani Alison Madueke, is currently under house arrest in London,UK. facing bribery and money-laundering crimes charges which is an indelible mark on Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his finance minister and coordinator of economy,Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who whose watch massive looting,stealing and embezzlement, activities were perpetrated.Other corruption crimes like import-duty waver and fuel subsidy scam were committed which led to the deep-recession chaos that Nigeria, is just coming out of..

    • newday

      What is ur point? The role of the army does not include massacre of unarmed civilians whose opinions differ from yours. Jona is even liberal in requesting the intervention of the lopesided Council of state. that needs to be disbanded because it is dominated by coup makers.