The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has described as “unfortunate” the fact that the U.S. government refused to consider the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.
The federal government had wielded the big stick on the pro-Biafra group as the defence headquarters (DHQ) declared IPOB a “militant terrorist” organisation. South-east governors subsequently issued a statement, proscribing the group.
President Muhammadu Buhari also sanctioned the proscription, in a move that is aimed to take the heat off the military and to ensure that due process is followed, after which a federal high court in Abuja upheld the declaration.
The information minister had earlier told newsmen that funding of the secessionist group is coming from France, an allegation the French nation swiftly denied.
The US authorities thereafter said it does not consider the the pro-Biafra group as a terrorist organisation.
However, while speaking during an interview on BBC Focus Africa on Wednesday, Lai described the act and utterances of IPOB, led by Nnamdi Kanu, as acts of “terrorists.”
His words: ‘’The acts and utterances of IPOB were acts and utterances of terrorists. For instance Nnamdi Kanu was caught on tape saying that they want Biafra and not peacefully but by force and that if they don’t get Biafra, Somalia will be a paradise with the kind of mayhem.’’
‘’This is also the same man who opens a safe for arms and the same man who set up his own Biafra national gathering, his own Biafra secret service and the same man who actually attacked army formations’’.
He further responded to the fact that the U.S. does not see IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
“That’s very unfortunate,” the minister said. “Because if countries decide to pick and choose which organisations are terrorists and which are not bearing in mind that terrorism has no boundaries, I think what we should do is, every country should work together to ensure that terrorism does not strive.”