The Nigerian Presidency has issued a statement on a recent letter written by the Common Wealth Mission Group alongside some UK lawmakers and legal experts criticising the Muhammadu Buhari administration over the numerous killings by Hausa Fulani herdsmen.
In a statement signed by the Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu on Thursday, the Nigerian government disclosed that strong efforts were being made to checkmate the Fulani herdsmen crisis in the North. They also took a swipe at the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, branding it a ‘Terrorist Group’.
According to him, “At the same time as we take note of the lawmakers’ letter, it is also important to stress to our partners and colleagues in the United Kingdom that not all who press them have the best interests of either democratic governance or peaceful coexistence in mind.
“For example, the former Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, named and quoted in the letter as a source on military matters, relinquished that position some 40 years ago – in 1979. He was last in a government position 17 years ago in 2003 (as Minister of Defence).
“At that time, religious and ethnic riots erupted in two states of the federation, (2001 and 2002), these were violently and ruthlessly put down by the military under his authority, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and the displacement of some further 50,000 persons. He is, therefore, not a natural source of pressure for good governance.”
“Another, signatory to the letter, is well-known to be associated with the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, a Nigerian-blacklisted terrorist group.
“The IPOB are running a well-known (source-of-financing-unknown) international campaign intended to damage the reputation of Nigeria and its government in order to further their cause of “independence”.
“Nnamdi Kanu jumped bail in Nigeria. He frequently travels on a Nigerian passport but urged his supporters to burn their passports! The IPOB barely mention their aims in their publicity; neither do they mention that their own leadership do not claim to be Christian.
“Yet, their media and lobbying campaign has focused near-exclusively on promoting matters related to Christianity in Nigeria, promulgating false claims that a government with 50 per cent of its cabinet and 50 per cent of its State Governors who are Christian somehow works against Christians. We call on our British friends and colleagues to join us in addressing genuine solutions not pander to agents of anarchy.” He said