- The federal government has advised the UK to rescind its plan to grant asylum to IPOB members
- Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, explains why FG is opposed to the new UK policy
- The asylum to IPOB members may strain relations between the Nigerian and the UK government
The Nigerian government said it is opposed to the reported plan by the UK to grant asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Commenting at a forum organised by NAN, he said:
“Let me say straightaway that this issue is within the purview of the honourable minister of foreign affairs and I am sure he will handle it appropriately.
“But as the spokesman for the federal government of Nigeria, I will say that if indeed the report that the UK will grant asylum to supposedly persecuted IPOB and MASSOB members is true, then something is wrong somewhere.''
The minister stated that IPOB has been proscribed and designated as a terrorist organisation in Nigeria.
Mohammed stated any asylum awarded to members of the group would be a disrespect to Nigeria, The Punch reported.
''The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.
“It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable.
“For the UK to choose this time to give succour to IPOB beggars belief and calls to question the UK’s real intention.
The minister said IPOB is alleged to be behind the recent attacks in the south-east despite denials by the group.
He said what the UK has done is like Nigeria offering asylum to members of the IRA before the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement.
The minister's comments came after UK Visas and Immigration had released new guidelines to its decision-makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications by members of Biafran secessionist groups.
Meanwhile, the minister of police affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, has directed the police force to neutralise perpetrators of violence in the southeast and elsewhere in Nigeria.
Dingyadi on Monday, April 19, disclosed that he has directed an intelligence-led kinetic operational against the culprits attacking police formations.