Barely two weeks after condemning the alliance between Yoruba Nation proponents and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the presidency has again lampooned their romance.
At the start of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the secessionist organizations protested against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian state.
In reaction, Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu described IPOB as a designated terror group with a 50,000 militia wing operating under the name, Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The presidential aide denounced the attempt to hold states in Nigerian hostage and advised Yoruba Nation agitators to stop associating with terrorists.
In a rejoinder, the O’odua Progressive Union (OPU) stressed that the real terrorists are bandits, Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah members.
In a statement on Tuesday, Shehu insisted Nigeria remains one indivisible nation of over 500 languages, nearly 400 communities and 36 states.
He said while Buhari was focusing on the challenges and asking for international support, a coalition of groups protested outside the UN building.
“There are some from the so-called “Yoruba nation” group and the so-called “Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB) terrorist group who worked together to protest outside the United Nations building in New York.”
Shehu said they claimed to have earned rights through violence, murder of law enforcement agents and the innocent and extortion to run their affairs.
“Many Nigerians at home were disconcerted by the tribal bullying of government officials as they moved to carry out their diligent work between the Nigerian Mission in New York and the UN building, a walkable distance of less than 400 meters.
“Protests are allowed by all who had anything to say. Tribal bullying is uncivilised. So is any effort to strengthen insurgency in the country.
“This is an extraordinary misinterpretation of the principles of the United Nations. There is no place in or before this organisation for racists, ethnic cleansers, and those who associate with them.
“Those pro-Buhari/pro-Nigeria demonstrators in immaculate green-white-green deserve to be praised for the maturity and decorum with which they carried on, ignoring crude insults and abuse from an opposition campaign inspired and conducted in accordance with rule book of the Nazi against Jews, Hutu extremists against the Rwandan Tutsi.
“In Nigeria today, IPOB has created an armed terror wing, the Eastern Security Network – complete with a fascistic logo – to coerce through violence innocent Nigerians, forcing them to protest against those of other ethnicities and religious beliefs and to lockdown states and stop people from the pursuit of their legitimate aspirations.”
The presidency accused the Biafra revolutionaries of seeking power by demonising others and targeting Nigerians who speak different dialects.
Shehu added that any group associating with IPOB is demonstrating there is little difference in their beliefs or intents.