The Presidency has berated Yoruba Nation for associating with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), describing their “cooperation” as a “shocking” and “worrying development.”
Agitators under the umbrella of the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS) had stormed the United Nations (UN) headquarters, New York in US on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14-15 to protest against President Muhammadu Buhari government.
The agitators urged the world leaders to facilitate the conduct of a referendum in Nigeria.
In a statement released by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu on Wednesday, Presidency maintained that IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation which has now publicly revealed a “50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.”
The presidency alleged that IPOB murders security services and innocent civilians, and is “attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.”
Shehu maintained that Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps and no one can take the organization seriously if it continues its IPOB association.
The statement read, “For Nigerian Diaspora groups to use the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes is not unexpected.
“It was, however, shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.
“It regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year. And it is currently attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.
“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps. No one can take seriously this organisation if it continues its IPOB association. When their allies systematically trample human rights, it raises sober questions about their claims to uphold the values of the UN.
“The cooperation is a worrying development, once parsed with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria. Actions and associations speak louder than words. Yoruba Nation’s talk of human rights promotion must therefore be ignored.”
The presidency also asked the media to work with the government and focus attention on core issues as President Muhammadu Buhari goes to the UN.
NINAS is “multi-ethnic alliance of the indigenous peoples of the Middle Belt (part of the former Northern Region), Ilana Omo Oodua (the former Western Region) and the Lower Niger (Former Eastern & Mid-Western Regions).”