IPOB denied the allegations shortly after the declaration, insisting that it is a non-violent movement.
“IPOB is a non-violent movement,” Mr Emmanuel Kanu, the younger brother of IPOB leader who spoke on behalf of the group said.
“We do not carry arms; we’ve never asked anyone to kill for us neither have we killed anyone. If you look at our records, our records are clean and straight.”
Hours after, the South-East Governors Forum banned the activities of the group and asked it and other aggrieved groups in the region to compile their grievances and submit them to the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and members of the National Assembly.
Although the Senate President disagreed with the declaration by the military and the action by the South-East governors, he said the military and all those that have worked to ensure peace deserve commendation.
“At this point, Nigerians outside the South-east who have worked to ensure that the crisis does not spread to other parts of the country deserve our commendation.”
“I, therefore, call for continued efforts to sustain peace, unity, and stability in all our communities so as to ensure that all residents, no matter their religion, tribe and creed remain protected and safe under the law.”
Saraki also appealed to the military to show restraint in the face of provocation.
He said, “We must commend the military for their efforts in restoring peace to different parts of the country and sustaining the unity of the country.
“However, in the face of provocation, the military should allow themselves to be guided by their training which emphasises respect for human rights, even in war. Also, giving the nature of this particular situation, the military has every reason to be hesitant in the use of force.”