Nigeria’s Minister of Information Lai Mohammed says the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was tagged terrorist group as it was using cutlasses and other weapons to terrorise Nigerians.
The minister, briefing newsmen after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, said the group was also getting financial aide from some quarters to destabilise Nigeria.
“I think anybody who has watched Nnamdi Kanu’s videos anywhere he goes, he openly solicits for arms and funds,” he said.
”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 4:30 p.m. in his house in Umuahia and then some solders were making noises and disturbing his sleep. Therefore, his boys stopped them.”
He said government had the responsibility of protecting lives and property and hence its action in the Southeast.
“Which country in the world would tolerate this? Unfortunately Nigerians 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 and we have forgotten that in 1983 there was a group called Maitatsine in Kano. They were crushed by Shagari’s government and they were Muslims and northerners.
“When they relocated to Burukutu they were again crushed by Shagari. When Buhari became Head of State, the same Maitatsine raised their head, he chased them far into the Chad Republic and I remember that time he was accused by America of trying to expand Gaddafi’s agenda.
“Abacha in his own time dealt also with Maitatsine 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 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.”