The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called on Nigeria’s international partners to designate the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organisation.
The Minister made the call in his article entitled “Thwarting Terrorism in Nigeria”, which appeared in the US newspaper Washington Times on Thursday, October 12, 2017.
He argued in the article that IPOB’s actions qualify the group as a terrorist organisation in most jurisdictions.
On September 20, 2017, the Federal Government of Nigeria proscribed IPOB, which has been agitating for a separate state in the South-East.
“The terror lays bare their opportunism. They masquerade as a separatist movement, yet they endanger the very people they claim to represent. In reality, IPOB cares about IPOB and nothing more,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He quoted the words of IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu such as, “If they fail to give us Biafra, Somalia will look like a paradise compared to what will happen to that ‘zoo’ (Nigeria).” “I don’t want peaceful actualisation (of Biafra)”; “We need guns and we need bullets”; “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die.” The Minister insisted that IPOB as a terrorist organisation like ETA in Spain, the Tamil Tigers was in Sri Lanka, and the PKK is in Turkey (all of whom are proscribed by the U.S. State Department).
He vowed that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not make the same mistake as the previous in allowing terrorists to capture land.
“The government reiterates its appeal to its international partners to proscribe the organisation, and in doing so, starve it of the funds which give it sustenance. Nigeria has just defeated one preventable terrorist insurgency. This one must not be given the chance to get a foothold,” the Minister wrote.