Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the process of proscribing Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He said that the procedure for the proscribtion is being worked out and will soon be made public.
Speaking to news men today, Wednesday shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the minister said that the decision to proscribe the IPOB which was agitating for Biafra was taken without any bias.
“For those who are fixated with legality, I have good news for them: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the process of proscribing the IPOB.” Lai Mohammed said that the Buhari government respects the
rights of individuals or groups to seek self-determination but that the pursuit of such rights has to be non-violent.
“Where any group crosses the line by engaging in violence, it risks being cut to size, and that’s exactly what has happened to IPOB.”
He said that the government is not not interested in the semantics or legality of troops
deployment or the proscription of IPOB, saying that IPOB has engaged in terrorist activities, “viz: Setting up parallel military and paramilitary organizations, clashing with the national army and attempting to seize rifles from soldiers, using weapons such as machetes, molotov cocktails and sticks and mounting roadblocks to extort money from people, among others.
“To those who have engaged in semantics or legality, I ask: Which country in the world will tolerate those activities I have listed above? Which national army will look the other way when it is being attacked by a band of thugs?
“I ask, if the President had been overly concerned with legality, where would Nigeria have been today? If attacks in the South-east had attracted reprisals elsewhere in the country, what would have happened. But for
the quick action of state governors in the South-east and and the North, there would have been a conflagration of immense proportions.” The minister commended the Governors in the Southeast
for making it clear to IPOB that it has no support for its violent
campaign, adding that by such action, the Governors have cut off the oxygen that IPOB needs to survive.” He asked that if the elected Governors of all the states in
the Southeast have banned the activities of IPOB, who then is the organization fighting for?
Lai Mohammed insisted that IPOB is a contraption against the Buhari Administration, and that it is being sponsored by those he called, the Coalition of the Politically-Disgruntled and the Treasury Looters.
“I stand by that statement despite the noise
emanating from the usual suspects. To quote the title of a James Hadley Chase novel, The Guilty Are Afraid. I will add: The guilty are always overly agitated. Good for them.”
The minister said that IPOB has now resorted to externalize its campaign by writing to governments and parliaments in the West, alleging genocide in the Southeast.
“Even a dictionary definition of ‘genocide’ does not support that claim. IPOB has also engaged in using highly-emotive
videos of killings, which it harvested from other lands and were doctored, to hoodwink the international community.” [myad]