Nigerian government has classified the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group, as we reported earlier.
Declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation opens the door for mass arrests and military operations against the group.
The problem with this move is that the Nigerian military might have underestimated the amount of support and sympathy IPOB has in the south-east of Nigeria and the problems their alienation could feed.
It could open up a third frontier of active confrontation for the Nigerian forces, after Boko Haram in the north-east and the Niger Delta – neither of which have been successfully quelled by years of force.
The Nigerian army does raise valid points about the manner in which IPOB carries itself – being confrontational to security forces and members of the public and even establishing its own police force, albeit not yet displaying ammunition.
This would be considered threatening in any country and would not be taken lightly.
The question is whether the government could have done more to prevent the situation from escalating to this point.
All along, the army has been seen to opt for a heavy-handed approach to this issue, as it did when attempting to suppress others, like Shia protesters in the north of the country in 2015.
It is difficult to see an easy conclusion if the Nigerian authorities continue with this approach.