President Muhammadu Buhari says he has redoubled his efforts to get the international community to join his administration in proscribing the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).
Mr Buhari made this known in a statement by his spokesman Garba Shehu on Sunday while reacting to the criticism of the Economist, London’s widely circulated Magazine.
The leader of the self-determination group demanding the restoration of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu is being detained at the headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS), against extant laws, after pleading not guilty to the amended seven-count charge preferred against him by the Buhari regime.
Mr Kanu was in June intercepted in Kenya and mysteriously returned to Nigeria to continue his treasonable felony trial after fleeing from his Afaraukwu home in 2017 where Nigerian Army personnel went and opened fire, killing dozens in the raid.
After the invasion, the federal government in conjunction with state governors of the South-East geo-political zone proscribed the group even when they were still protesting peacefully unarmed. The group recently said over 20,000 of its members have been extra-judiciary killed.
Last year December while abroad, Mr Kanu announced the formation of Eastern Security Network (ESN), a paramilitary arm of his group, which he said was to chase out violent herdsmen raping and killing citizens in the Igbo predominant area under the watch of state actors.
Attacks on security formations and personnel in the region increased afterwards but the secessionist group has continued to deny being responsible. The group said the rising killings in the Igbo predominant area was sponsored by the federal government, citing one instance where one of the unknown attackers was gunned down and later identified as an agent of the country’s secret police.
Kicking against the paper’s criticism that the military of the commander-in-chief was only mighty on papers, corrupt for not doing enough to secure the country, Mr Shehu said his principal’s regime has been the only one genuinely waging war against IPOB and has redoubled its effort to get the international community to proscribe the group that was existing and largely unknown until the president arrested its founder in 2015 making it famous, particularly among the Igbo speaking youths.
“It is only this President’s government which has taken on IPOB, the violent terrorist group which bombs police stations and offices of security agencies, while also threatening those who break their Monday-sit-ins whilst claiming the mantle of forebears who half a century ago fought a civil war, the president’s mouthpiece said. “In the South-East, IPOB – which the Economist rightly describes as “delusional” – the arrest and present trial of the terrorist leader of the group is the beginning of its demise.
“The President’s administration is redoubling efforts to have IPOB rightfully designated as a terrorist group by our allies outside of Nigeria – an act which will collapse their ability to transact gains from crime and extortion in foreign currencies.
“It is important to remind the Economist and the global media that this group’s aggression and widespread presence on social media does not reflect their public support, for which they have none: all elected governors, all elected politicians and all elected state assemblies in the South-East – which IPOB claim to be part of their fantasy kingdom – reject them completely.”
The president has been accused of being an ethnic bigot by ignoring and tagging terrorists in his region as bandits while moving against peaceful secessionist agitators in the South, an allegation his administration have repeatedly denied.