The Federal Government has appealed to its international partners to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and starve it of the funds that gave the group sustenance.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the appeal in an article, entitled”Thwarting Terrorism in Nigeria”, which appeared in the US newspaper,’Washington Times’ on Thursday.
He recalled that the Federal Government on Sept. 20, proscribed IPOB which had been violently agitating for a separate state in the South-East of the country.
Mohammed said that Nigeria had just defeated one preventable terrorist insurgency, adding that that IPOB must not be given the chance to get a foothold.
He said that IPOB’s actions qualified the group as a terrorist organisation in most jurisdictions.
“The terrors lay 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,” he said.
The minister listed some words of the 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 actualization (of Biafra)”; “We need guns and we need bullets”; “If they don’t (give us Biafra), they will die“
According to the minister, these statements credited to Kanu had exposed the group as a terrorist organization.
Mohammed likened IPOB to ETA in Spain, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and the PKK in Turkey all of which he noted had been proscribed by the U.S. State Department.
The minister stressed that the administration would not make the same mistake as the previous in allowing terrorists to capture land.