Last night the Presidency accused IPOB of stockpiling weapons and bombs all over the country, a claim denied by The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made the allegation in a statement released in Abuja.
According to the Presidency, Amnesty International‘s latest salvo against Nigeria is just more of the same in a statement entitled “Why Amnesty entreaties should be ignored.”
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As stated in the statement, “Once again, they’ve chosen to side with terrorists over the freedom of those they injure, displace, and murder.”
“Amnesty International uses the language of universal human rights only to defend – or even promote – those who violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a proscribed terrorist organization, are cited as sources to legitimize IPOB’s cause in the West.
As a result, they are in bad company. For the same work in Washington D.C., IPOB pays controversial American lobbyists hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
“IPOB assassinates Nigerians. In addition, they have set fire to government property and have killed police officers and military personnel. Moreover, there is a large stockpile of weapons and bombs scattered across the country.
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IPOB has criticized the Nigerian federal government for its poor investment, inequitable resource distribution, ethnic marginalization, and heavy military presence in the country’s southeast region.
The organization rose to prominence in the mid-2010s and is now the largest Biafran independence organization by the membership. However, in recent years, it has gained significant media attention for becoming a frequent target of political crackdowns by the Nigerian government.
It also has numerous sites and communication channels serving as the only trusted social apparatus educating and inculcating firsthand information and news to its citizens.
Would Amnesty’s defense of this group’s actions be expected in a western country? Silence or weak justifications of western governments’ actions to stop the spread of “terrorism” would prevail instead.
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Unfortunately, despite Amnesty’s self-proclaimed mandate to transcend borders, they play only domestic politics in Nigeria. Using the international NGO as a guide, the local leaders of the organization pursue their own self-interests. Africa, unfortunately, is not immune to this kind of thing.
When it comes to activism, there’s nothing wrong with IPOB.
In Nigeria, Amnesty International does not have a legal basis for its existence. Their Nigerian offices need to be opened up to formal investigation. Should reject the outrageously tendentious misinformation they receive and do some research on the sources they rely on. As of right now, there are none.
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This means that the Nigerian government will use every tool at its disposal to combat terrorism. Amnesty International’s rantings will be ignored. “Especially when it comes from a group that does not hold itself to the same standards it demands of others.”
Emma Powerful, IPOB’s spokesperson, and other officers were unable to be reached for comment.
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The Indigenous People of Biafra recently announced September 14 as another day for its members and supporters and South East residents to boycott commercial and social activities.