The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, has denied claims that the recent deployment of troops to South-Eastern part of the country is an invasion on the region.
Obono-Obla, in a statement made available to pressmen yesterday in Abuja, stated that President Buhari acted within his powers as provided in the Constitution and was bound to do so in the face of the threat to national security constituted by the activities of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The statement partly reads: “It is axiomatic that Abia State constitutes part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President, Commander–in-Chief; President Muhammadu Buhari, has the power to deploy the Armed Forces to any part of the territory that constitutes the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to maintaining and securing public safety and public order.
“It follows that by Section 8 (3) of the Armed Forces Act, the President, in exercise of his powers to determine the operational use of the Armed Forces, direct that the deployment of any branch of the Armed Forces for the purpose of maintaining and securing public safety and public order.
“This is precisely what the President did when he deployed the Armed Forces to the Abia State of Nigeria to maintain and secure public safety and public order. Put differently, the President can, in certain circumstances, deployed the Armed Forces of Nigeria to perform police duties.
“Examples of the use of the Armed Forces to maintain law and order sometimes in this country abound; so why are detractors of the Federal Government suggesting that the deployment of the Armed Forces to Abia State or the South East region amounts to invasion?”