John Campbell, a former US Ambassador to Nigeria, has accused the Inspector-General of the Police, Usman Baba, of giving green light to human rights violations for asking the police to clamp down on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He condemned the “Operation Restore Peace” launched by the police last week and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the IGP in the interest of national unity.
He made this warning in a statement according to Politics Nigeria on Monday. Mr Campbell said “the IGP is not only giving the green light to human rights violations, but also promising his protection for those who commit them.”
“In addition, he is threatening those who might hang back with the loss of pension benefits. Usman is implying that he has the full support of President Muhammadu Buhari. Other reporting alleges that security services are conducting house-to-house searches in Ebonyi, Imo, and Rivers states, all with large Igbo populations.”
“Local people are saying that the security services are rounding up young men and their family members and taking them away for questioning. IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu has dubbed the police initiative ‘Operation Massacre Biafrans’. Usman Baba is a northern Muslim from Yobe State—long a Boko Haram stronghold. He is a career police officer. There is nothing in his background that would suggest an understanding of southern and eastern grievances and fears of the ‘establishment of a Fulani Caliphate.’
The former ambassador further said Operation Restore Peace and Baba’s rhetoric would seem tailor-made to feed the revived Biafra secessionist movement and general southern and Christian fears of a Fulani-Muslim onslaught against Christians.
“It should be anticipated that local people will fight back viciously and the security services—as directed by Usman Baba—will respond in kind. It is to be hoped that President Buhari will repudiate Baba’s rhetoric and methods, not least for the sake of the unity of Nigeria,” he warned.
It is to be hoped that President Muhammadu Buhari will repudiate IGP Usman Baba’s rhetoric and methods, which give a green light to human rights violations in countering Biafran secessionism.https://t.co/cC0b99Xckz
— John Campbell (@JohnCampbellcfr) May 21, 2021