IPOB not a Terrorist Organisation – US
The battle over the oneness of Nigeria has taken yet another turn after the United States Government said it does not consider separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB terrorist organisation.
This comes in the wake of a ruling by the Federal High Court in Abuja giving judicial backing to the executive order of President Muhammadu Buhari outlawing the group and its activities in the south-east region.
Declaring that the activities of IPOB constituted acts of terrorism, the court granted the order to proscribe the group on Wednesday, echoing the decision of the south-east governors last week after the commencement of Operation Python Dance II.
Speaking after the court judgment last week, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said FG would proceed to gazette the order proscribing the group.
But days after government accused France and the United Kingdom of aiding IPOB activities, the spokesman for the American Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, said the US government does not view IPOB Terrorist Organisation.
In an email exchange with Punch, Brooks maintained that the US was committed to Nigeria’s unity and would support a peaceful resolution of any crisis in the country.
“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy,” he said.
“Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organisation under US law.”
The US embassy however, did not state their position on the agitation for a Biafran state and declined to comment on whether the Federal Government had asked it to treat IPOB as a terrorist organisation.