President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Thursday said the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a terrorist organization while Fulani herdsmen who have reportedly killed thousands of people are just criminals.
Mr. Shehu made this known while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said: “There is a difference between a criminal activity and a terrorist activity, yes the Fulani herdsmen are a criminal gang and they are being treated as criminals according to the law of the country. But IPOB like Boko Haram has a territory have carved on to themselves as a sovereign state of their own, they have should willingness to invade states and raised concerns in neighbouring states, like Kogi, Benue and have said they are interested in taking over Bayelsa and Rivers. That’s exactly what Boko Haram has done”
The presidential aide said the IPOB has clearly indicated they are not interested in dialogue.
He said: “IPOB itself has clearly indicated that they are not interested in dialogue. You know that in the run-up of these processes, the governors of the states in the region had put up a forum, IPOB said, ‘No, thank you, we are not interested.’
“The Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria set up a delegation and they said, ‘IPOB we want to speak to you,’ and they said, ‘no, thank you.’”
“Initially yes, it is clear that the leader had himself shut everyone out of the whole process.
“What more did anybody need to see coming from IPOB to act when they had declared a territory, they had made open clear threat to seize neighbouring states. They have printed passports, they have printed currency and they attack people illegally. What else do you need to act?
Garba Shehu also revealed he supported the Nigerian Army in its recent declaration that the Indigenous People of Biafra is a terrorist group.
He said: “We looked at this organisation, we analysed it, and it fits the description of a terrorist organization.
If it fits the description of a terrorist organization, then it is a terrorist organization,”
Although the Presidential Aide admitted that the military by its declaration alerted Nigerians of their own analysis, he, however, revealed the Federal Government was bound to follow up “some processes.”
“That yes, it fits in and as Americans say, ‘If it walks like a duck, it moves like a duck, it looks like a duck, then it is a duck.’
“Therefore, that is it. That is their own description of it. So, the processes we are bound to follow since they are fully aware of the fact that from the point of view of the law, they cannot do what the law does not empower them to do.”