Defence & Security

Buhari condemns killings in southeast, warns against retaliation

By Paul Michael, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of innocent citizens taking place in the southeast and other parts of the country, and warned citizens against sharing sensitive content that can create panic as well as retaliatory attacks.

The president was responding to some viral videos of alleged killings carried out by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its armed group, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

IPOB/ESN is being accused of killing northerners in Anambra State for no justifiable reason. It was reported that a woman, her four kids, and six other northerners were recently killed by the group.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari called on citizens to avoid hasty steps or conclusions that could exacerbate the situation.

Buhari warns the perpetrators of violent attacks to expect a tough response from the security forces while describing the wild, barbarous, and wanton killings of innocent people in the southeast and the entire country as “deeply distressing”.

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The statement reads, “The Presidency wishes to caution against any knee-jerk reactions, the creation of panic, disruption of lives and livelihoods, or even retaliatory violence following the viral videos of the alleged killings of non-indigenes by the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and its mother terrorist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

“While expert agencies are now verifying the factuality and veracity of the claims that accompany the horrid pictures being circulated, we call on all citizens to avoid hasty steps or conclusions that could exacerbate the situation, and on the contrary, keep to a line of conduct that will help the law to take its proper course.

“The Presidency also cautions the public against the indiscriminate sharing of posts on social media so as to deny vested interests who seek to divide us and create disturbance the chance to do so.

“In the issuance of his very strong condemnation of these “wild, barbarous and wanton killings of innocent people” in the South-East as well as the other parts of the country, which he described as “deeply distressing,” President Muhammadu Buhari warns the perpetrators of these acts to expect a tough response from the security forces.”

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