The Minister of Information, Lai
Mohammed, has set the entire South-East on fire, by saying that the
Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, is being sponsored by looters, to
sabotage President Muhamamdu Buhari’s government.
Lai Mohammed, who stated this in a Press Conference, in Lagos, on Sunday, said that IPOB was set up to destabilise the nation.
The statement came on the recent
clampdown of IPOB members in Abia State, and the invasion of Nnamdi
Kanu’s residence, in Umuahia.
“IPOB is being sponsored by those I will
call the Coalition of the Politically Disgruntled and the Treasury
Looters. They believe that by sponsoring this group to destabilize the
country and trigger chaos, they will realize their ambition of escaping
justice, and then be free to dip their hands into the nation’s treasury
again”, Lai Mohammed said.
He wondered why the activities of IPOB
became heightened with the advent of this administration, saying: “If
this is coincidental, then that coincidence is uncanny, at the least.
Remember that Nnamdi Kanu, who led a protest at the Nigeria House in
London against Boko Haram insurgency, and in support of Nigeria’s unity,
under the Jonathan administration, has suddenly metamorphosed into an
IPOB monster, who will rather set the nation ablaze.”
He noted that IPOB thrived on exploiting
the nation’s fault lines, and that its modus operandi, “is to trigger
conflagration nationwide, through attacks and reprisals.”
“Thankfully, IPOB has failed in its evil
machinations. The good people of Nigeria have seen beyond those cheap
tactics, and have avoided being incited against one another. We must
remain vigilant and resolute. We must all say no to the incendiary and
divisive tendencies of IPOB and its cohorts”, he said.
The Minister commended the Nigerian
Military for labelling IPOB a terrorist organization, and for
checkmating the group, and the South-East Governors for proscribing the
“But for (the Military’s) quick and
decisive intervention, IPOB could have set the nation on fire. Thanks to
the decisiveness of the Military, today the Governors of the States in
the South-East have wisely proscribed IPOB”, he said.
Lai Mohammed accused IPOB of harvesting
gory videos from the distant past and from other lands, to deceive the
international community that the people of the South-East are victims of
state-sponsored ethnosectarian violence, describing such tactics as
“lies and propaganda”.
“Such videos, which have a very high
emotive quotient, are circulating on the Social Media. We call on all to
subject such videos to the greatest scrutiny, so as not to be misled.
In particular, we urge the international community not to jump to any
conclusion on the basis of such videos”, he said.
The Minister also appealed to the media
to show greater restraint and avoid sensationalism in their reporting of
the Military exercise, Operation Python Dance II, in the South-East.
“The divisive and jaundiced opinions of
some anarchists have been given a big play by a section of the media.
This is wrong. Let me remind all of us of the role of the media,
especially the radio, in the 1994 genocide, in Rwanda, that left about
800,000 people dead”, he said, adding that, the Nigerian media cannot
afford to sit on the fence, or engage in irresponsible journalism, when
the issue at stake is the very survival of the nation.