- President Buhari has urged the country's western allies to designate the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation
- The Nigerian leader said this when answering questions on the security situation in Nigeria under his watch
- Buhari also asserted that proscribing IPOB will help improve Nigeria's oil sector, adding that the group is also involved vandalisation of oil pipelines
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Nigeria's western allies, including the United States and the United Kindom, to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.
He stated this in an interview published by Bloomberg on Tuesday, June 21.
The Nigerian leader was responding to a question about his administration’s record on fighting insecurity and corruption.
He said Nigeria is safer than he met in 2015 and proscribing IPOB, a group seeking secession of parts of the southeast, will improve the situation.
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"In 2015, Boko Haram held territory the size of Belgium within the borders of Nigeria. Today they are close to extinct as a military force. The leader of ISWAP was eliminated by a Nigerian Airforce airstrike in March. The jets acquired from the US and intelligence shared by British were not provided to previous administrations and stand as testament to renewed trust re-built between Nigeria and our traditional western allies under my government.
"We urge those same international partners to take additional steps costing them nothing, by proscribing another group – IPOB - as a terrorist organization. Their leadership enjoys safe haven in the West, broadcasting hate speech into Nigeria from London, spending millions lobbying members of the US Congress, and freely using international financial networks to arm agitators on the ground. This must stop.
"My administration is the only in Nigeria’s history to implement a solution to decades-long herder-farmer conflicts, exacerbated by desertification and demographic growth. The National Livestock Transformation Plan, putting ranching at its core, is the only way to deplete the competition for resources at the core of the clashes. Governors from some individual states have sought to play politics where ranches have been established; but where they have been disputes have dramatically reduced."
IPOB also plays role in pipeline vandalisation, says Buhari
Asked why Nigeria’s crude production has been slumping, President Buhari spoke on the steps his administration is taking to make the oil sector efficient.
He, however, added that designating IPOB a terrorist group would also help, adding that the Nnamdi Kanu-led organisation was complicit in pipeline vandalisation.
"Criminality and terrorism in oil-producing regions hamper production, and it would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure.
"We have invested in our security forces, including the $1 billion military deal with the U.S. for the acquisition of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. These efforts are making an impact: wells that had to be closed due to criminality have now re-opened. With these efforts, OPEC has raised our quota for next month."
FG meets Facebook team, calls for banning of IPOB activities
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, asked Facebook and other social media platforms to stop allowing the proscribed IPOB to use their platforms to incite violence and instigate ethnic hatred in Nigeria.
A statement by Segun Adeyemi, Mohammed's media aide, indicates that the minister made the demand in Abuja on Tuesday, May 17, at a meeting with a team from Facebook.
He said since IPOB had been proscribed and classified as a terrorist organization, Facebook has no justification for yielding its platform to the organization to further its campaign of hate and destabilization of the country.