Nigerian Government Takes Down IPOB

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IPOB proscribed and declared a terrorist group by an Abuja court; Nigeria blasts France, UK for supporting IPOB; IPOB headquarters is in France – FG; Buhari begins process of IPOB proscription – Lai Mohammed . . .

IPOB proscribed and declared a terrorist group by an Abuja court

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday granted an order filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, declaring the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as “acts of terrorism and illegality.”

The order also proscribed the existence of IPOB throughout Nigeria, with particular attention paid to the South-East and South-South regions.

The approval of the AGF’s motion came after the Nigerian military backtracked and insisted that it had not declared IPOB a terrorist organization.

Read the court documents below:

 Nigeria blasts France, UK for supporting IPOB

The Federal Government spoke yesterday of an international dimension to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) crisis.

It accused the United Kingdom of doing very little about its complaint that Biafra Radio was broadcasting from its terrirory.

Biafra . Nnamdi Kanu . Radio Biafra director

Photo: Nnamdi Kanu broadcasted on Radio Biafra from the UK.

Besides, said the government, the bulk of IPOB’s funding from its diaspora supporters is sent through France.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed, who stated this yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, added that IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu’s belligerent attitude and the violence the group employed could not be overlooked by any government.

The minister said: “Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know, but you see, can you as a government stop sending money to your parents? You have to block the sources of finance that is what I said recently.

Lai Mohammed 3

Photo: Nigerian Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

“It is incontrovertible that some people in the diaspora contribute money to IPOB. We know this as a fact. Again, there are a few knotty diplomatic issues which you need to skip. For instance, who does not know that the IPOB internal radio is located in London? We know the diplomatic moves we have been taking and approaching the UK, all the damage it has done; but they don’t see it that way. For them, it is about freedom of expression.

“If we have a person in Nigeria openly soliciting arms to come and fight the UK, what would you think of it. Would you consider that freedom of expression? And this is a country that also has had a history; what did the Irish Repubublican Army (IRA) do to be labelled a terrorist organisation? They were planting bombs, they were fighting the British army.

“I don’t want any diplomatic row. We know for a fact where the funding is coming from and we are going to stop them but it is difficult to stop them and we have been working on it and we will not stop.”

On those financing IPOB, the minister said: “We have the records; we know IPOB collects money from many people from the diaspora, they collect money from many people in Nigeria. They collect money from some foreign countries; this is clear.

IPOB protest

File photo: Biafra separatist IPOB members demonstrating in the southeast.

”I think this is not rocket science. Any treasury looter would do everything possible to distract the government. If by any act, God forbid it, Nigeria is today engulfed in war, and Nigeria is now involved in trying to quell unrest, will the courts be spared? What would be the first priority of government? It will be to quell that riot, so it is a way of distraction to ensure that government is not focused.

Mohammed added: “Let me state clearly that it is within the rights of individuals or groups to seek self-determination. But this pursuit 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. I am not interested in the semantics or legality of troops deployment or the proscription of IPOB. All I know is that IPOB has engaged in terrorist activities, viz: Setting up parallel military and paramilitary organisations, 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?

“For those who are fixated with legality, I have good news for them: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the process of proscribing IPOB, and the procedure is on as I speak. But 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?

Igbo governors of 5 Southeastern states

Southeast governors

“But for the quick action of governors in the South-east and the North, there would have been a conflagration of immense proportions.”

Mohammed praised the South-east governors for making it clear to IPOB that it has no support for its violent campaign.

“By their action, the governors have cut off the oxygen that IPOB needs to survive. If the elected governors of all the states in the South-east have banned the activities of IPOB, who then is the organisation fighting for?

“I did state, during my earlier interactions, that IPOB is a contraption against the Buhari Administration, and that it is being sponsored by those I call 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 went on: “I think anybody who has watched Nnamdi Kanu’s videos anywhere he goes to, he openly solicits for arms and for funds. I have a lot of quotations from him as to the violence intention of IPOB; in one of his videos, he said if he is arrested, his boys should burn down the country, the same Kanu went on television a few days ago saying he was sleeping at about 4:30pm in his house in Umuahia and then some solders were making noise they were disturbing his sleep and his boys stopped them.

“I ask him which country in the world would tolerate this. Unfortunately, Nigerians, we have short memories, at times, or we intend to be very mischievous because this thing is being turned into the North is persecuting the Southeast or Muslims persecuting Christians. We have forgotten that in 1983 there was a group called Maitasine in Kano, they were crushed by the Shagari government, they were Muslims and northerners.

“When they relocated to Burukutu they were again crushed by Shagari. When Buhari became Head of State, the same Maitasine raised their heads, he chased them far into the Chad Republic as then Head of State, I remember that time he was accused by America of trying to expand Ghadafi’s agenda.

“Abacha in his own time dealt also with Maitasine and he was a Muslim. President Umaru Yar Adua in 2010 was on his way to the airport when he got a report about Boko Haram; he sent the army to go and destroy them; these were Muslims from the North dealing with essentially Islamic Muslim insurgencies.

“Anything about insurgence or terrorists act you don’t think about religion, you don’t think about ethnicity, you think about the unity of the country.

“But for me, do you want the President to wait for this to be put into law before you take action and stop looting or killing. Where will Nigeria be today if there is conflagration in Lagos or Kano? Like the Governor of Abia said yesterday, there are about 11million Igbo living outside the Southeast; that is not a small number; it’s not a joke,” he said.

In the minister’s view “Nigeria has been very lucky,as there would have been massive bloodshed if reprisals had taken place outside the Southeast and it didn’t take place because our traditional rulers, our governors and other leaders went out to pacify people and the kind of stories that has been trending on the social media has not helped things.” “As a matter of fact, there was one stating that a major general had been killed, not knowing that it was a retired major that was killed in Benue state over land matters; that would have set the entire country ablaze.”

He spoke of how the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister mobilised all the 17 graded traditional chiefs and emirs in Abuja to meet with all the stakeholders to prevent reprisal attacks.

“And they think it’s a joke; you can imagine what would have happened if the people of Kano or Kaduna had started retaliation. So, we are in a very dangerous situation and actually we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder. The peace that you are seeing is deceptive. We must continue to work on it and we must continue to counter this very untrue narrative.

“Is there anybody here who can tell me which part of Nigeria genocide is taking place it is not true but of course we are in the era of fake news and artificial intelligence where you can make a video of what is happening in Iraq super impose pictures in Nigeria and voices and send it. People are gullible, including some foreign countries.”

According to him, the Buhari administration will never stifle anybody’s freedom of expression.

Mohammed said: “On the basis of that, we have heard some funny bones saying that Nigeria should be expelled from the United Nations because they are perpetuating genocide. This government will not stifle anybody’s freedom of expression, but when you cross the line for the sake of national unity we won’t allow you.”

On Buhari’s approval of the IPOB proscription, Mohammed said: “There is a procedure for proscription. The President must sign the proclamation after which the Attorney General will follow the procedure which he is doing.”

IPOB headquarters is in France – FG

The Federal Government Wednesday said that it was discovered that the headquarters of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, is France with some foreign countries funding the group.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who disclosed this to State House correspondents at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said President Muhammadu Buhari has already approved the process for proscription of IPOB.

He said that IPOB is a contraption against the administration of President Buhari and that the group is being sponsored by some foreign countries.

Mohammed said he would not join the debate over the legality or otherwise of the proscription of the group, saying “For those who are fixated with legality, I have good news for them: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the process of proscribing IPOB, and the procedure is on as I speak.”

Continuing he said, “But 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.”

IPOB

He said the activities of IPOB if not the timely intervention of some leaders from the North especially governors from the zone and their counterpart from the South East, the country would have been engulfed in serious crisis. He commended the Southeast governors for being proactive by “making it clear to IPOB that it has no support for its violent campaign.

“By its action, the Governors have cut off the oxygen that IPOB needs to survive. If the elected Governors of all the states in the South-east have banned the activities of IPOB, who then is the organization fighting for? “IPOB is a contraption against the Buhari Administration, and that it is being sponsored by those “I call the Coalition of the Politically-Disgruntled and the Treasury Looters. “I stand by that statement despite the noise emanating from the usual suspects. “Finally, IPOB has decided to externalize its campaign.

It has written to governments and parliaments in the West alleging genocide in the South-east. 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.”

Why government decided to consider IPOB as a terrorist organization when its members do not bear arms, Mohammed said, “I think anybody who has watched Nnamdi Kanu’s videos anywhere he goes to he openly solicits for arms and for funds.

“I have a lot of quotations from him as to the violence intention of IPOB, in one of his videos he said if he is arrested his boys should burn down the country, the same Kanu went on television a few days ago saying he was sleeping at about 4:30pm in his house in Umuahia and then some solders were making noises they were disturbing his sleep and his boys stopped them.

“I ask him which country in the world would tolerate this, unfortunately Nigerians we have short memories at times, or we tend to be very mischievous because this thing is being turned into oh the North is persecuting the south east or muslims persecuting christians. We have forgotten that in 1983 there was a group called Mateseni in Kano, they were crushed by Shagari government, they were muslims and northerners. “When they relocated to Burukutu they were again crushed by Shagari, when Buhari became Head of State, the same Mateseni raised their head, he chased them far into the Chad Republic as then the Head of State, I remember that time he was accused by America of trying to expand Ghadafi’s agenda.

Abacha in his own time dealt also with Mateseni and he was a muslim. “President Yar Adua in 2010 was on his way to the airport when he got a report about Boko Haram, he sent army to go and destroy them, these were muslims from the north dealing with essentially Islamic muslim insurgencies, anything about insurgence or terrorists act you don’t think about religion, you don’t think about ethnicity, you think about the unity of the country.

“Honestly Nigeria has been very very lucky, last week there would have been massive bloodshed if reprisals had taken place outside the south east and it didn’t take place because our traditional rulers our governors and other leaders went out to pacify people and the kind of stories that has been trending on the social media has not helped things.

“As a matter of fact there was one stating that a major general had been killed, not knowing that it was a retired major that was killed in Benue state over land matters, that would have set the entire country ablaze. “As cosmopolitan as Abuja is, it took the FCT minister to mobilise all the 17 graded traditional chiefs and emirs in Abuja to really hold meetings with all the stakeholders. “To pacify the situation and they think its a joke, you can imagine what would have happened if the people of Kano or Kaduna started retaliation, so we are in a very dangerous situation and actually we are sitting on a keg of gun powder.

The peace that you are seeing is deceptive we must continue to work on it and we must continue to counter this very untrue narrative. “Is there anybody here who can tell me which part of Nigeria genocide is taking place it is not true but ofcourse we are in the era of fake news and artificial intelligence where you can make a video of what is happening in Iraq super impose pictures in Nigeria and voices and send it, people are gullible including some foreign countries.

“On the basis of that we have heard some funny bones saying that Nigeria should be expelled from the United Nations because they are perpetuating genocide, this government will not stifle anybody’s freedom of expression, but when you cross the line for the sake of national unity we won’t allow you.” The Minister who explained why President Buhari approved the proscription, said, “There is a procedure for proscription, the President must sign the proclamation after which the Attorney General will follow the procedure which he is doing.

“But for me do you want the President to wait for this to be put into law before you take action and stop looting or killing? Where will Nigeria be today if there is conflagration in Lagos or Kano, like the Governor of Abia said yesterday there are about 11million igbos living outside the south east, that is not a small number, its not a joke.” When asked to name those behind the funding of IPOB following the government pronouncement that it had discovered those behind it’s financing, he said, “I think this is not rocket science, any treasury looter would do everything possible to distract government.

If by any act, God forbid it, Nigeria is today engulfed in war, and Nigeria is now involved in trying to quell unrest, will the courts be spared? “What would be the first priority of government? It will be to quell that riot, so its a way of distraction to ensure that government is not focused, so its not rocket science that a person today who has a case in court or almost going to jail will try and cause confusion, he would go and support IPOB. “We have the records, we know IPOB collects money from many people from diaspora, they collect money from many people in Nigeria they collect money from some foreign countries, this is clear.

“Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know but you see can you as a government stop sending money to your parents, you have to block the sources of finance that is what I said recently. “It is incontrovertible that some people in diaspora contribute money to IPOB, where does he get his money from? We know this as a fact, again there are a few very naughty diplomatic issues which you need to skip.

“For instance, who does not know that the IPOB internal radio is located in London, we know the diplomatic moves we have been taking and approaching the UK, all the damages its done but they don’t see it that way, for them its about freedom of expression. “If we have a person in Nigeria openly soliciting arms to come and fight the UK, what would you think of, would you consider that freedom of expression? “And this is a country that also has had a history.

What did IRA do to be labeled a terrorists organisation? They were planting bombs, they were fighting the British army, I don’t want any diplomatic row, we know for a fact where the funding is coming from and we are going to stop them but it’s difficult to stop them and we have been working on it and we will not stop.”

Buhari begins process of IPOB proscription – Lai Mohammed

Information Minister Lai Mohammed on Wednesday said that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group had written to western nations alleging genocide in Igbo land but that President Muhammadu Buhari had commenced the process of proscribing the group.

Buhari

Photo: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

The minister said this while addressing the state House Press corps on the current situation in the country.

“For those who are fixated with legality, I have good news for them.

“The President has approved the process of proscribing IPOB and before he left he did approve the proscription and the procedure is on.

“And I ask, if the President had been overly concerned with the legalese where will Nigeria be today.’’

The minister noted that he had to deal with the issue of IPOB in many radio and television programmes in the past few days.

He acknowledged that it was the rights of individuals or groups to seek self-determination but the pursuit should be within the confines of the law and non-violent.

He stated that where any group crossed the line by engaging in violence it then became out of tune.

He avoided the semantics of whether the group ought to have been proscribed by the South East Governors or on the labeling of IPOB as a terrorist group by the military.

But in the other hand he noted that the group had engaged in terrorist activities.

“All I know is that IPOB has engaged in terrorist activities such as setting up prior military and para military, clashing with the national army and attempting to seize rifle from soldiers.

“It used weapons such as machetes and Molotov cocktails and mounting road blocks to extort money among others.

“The leader has openly solicited for arms,’’ he said.

Mohammed said that no national army in the world would tolerate the IPOB activities or any army that would look away when attacked by band of thugs.

The minister noted that but for the swift response of the South East governors the crisis would have turned to something else.

“For the quick action of the governors in the South East and their counterparts in the North and the traditional rulers there would have been conflagration of immense proportion.

“Permit me to especially commend the governors from the South East for making it clear to IPOB that it has no support for its violent campaign.

“By this action, the governors have cut off the oxygen that IPOB needs to survive.

“If the elected governors in the South East have banned the activities of IPOB who then is the organization fighting for,’’ he asked.

He remarked that IPOB was a political contraption against the Buhari administration and being sponsored by the coalition of the politically disgruntled and treasury looters.

The minister remarked that IPOB had decided to externalize its campaign by writing western governments and parliaments alleging genocide as well as using fake videos of killings to deceive the public.

The minister said the challenge for the country was to ensure that “we counter this narrative’’.

He noted that IPOB had opened diplomatic moves by setting up its financial headquarters in France and a radio station in London adding that government would stop the funding of the group from the diaspora.(NAN)

Source: Nigerianeye

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