The Nigerian Army says its troops have arrested one Chiwetalu Agu for allegedly inciting members of the public and soliciting for support for the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Thursday, said Agu, a veteran Nollywood actor, was arrested while allegedly wearing an attire of the proscribed group.
Nwachukwu said that Agu attempted putting up some resistance when troops made effort to take him into custody, adding that he was neither assaulted nor brutalised.
He said while the Nigerian army recognises the inalienable rights of the citizenry to freedom of movement and expression as enshrined in the Constitution, a violation of the law by any individual or group to incite the public and cause mayhem will not be tolerated.
“It is therefore pertinent to state that while exercising such freedoms, it must be done within the confines of the law, bearing in mind the imperative for peace, and national security.
“For the avoidance of doubt and emphasis, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) remains proscribed.
“Therefore, any individual or group seen to be projecting and advancing the cause or activities of the group is viewed as brazenly challenging the constitutionality of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“More worrisome, was the fact that considering the prevailing security situation of the region, coupled with the ongoing Exercise Golden Dawn, his action could be a tacit endorsement and support for the proscribed group.
“We have all witnessed how the activities of the group took a violent dimension in recent times,” he said.
He said that the army would not allow IPOB and its sponsors to hold the region captive or the security situation to degenerate.
According to him, the ongoing Exercises to rid the region of all forms of criminality are on course.
“The peace loving and law abiding people of the South East are enjoined to please go about their normal activities, as efforts are ongoing to bring perpetrators of violence to book.
“They are equally urged to continue to support the security agencies to restore normalcy to the region in furtherance of peace,” he said.