Federal government proclaimed terrorist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is funded by some countries and individuals in the diaspora, Nigeria’s Minister of Information has alleged.
The group was on Wednesday outlawed following its recent clashes with the Nigerian Army in Abia state.
The minister, Lai Mohammed, knocked the government of UK for allowing IPOB use its territory to broadcast Biafra messages.
He told newsmen after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that the government has had enough of the group as it has a responsibility of protecting the country’s unity.
"Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know, but you see, can you as a government stop sending money to your parents? You have to block the sources of finance that is what I said recently,” the minister said.
"It is incontrovertible that some people in the diaspora contribute money to IPOB. We know this as a fact. Again, there are a few knotty diplomatic issues which you need to skip.
"For instance, who does not know that the IPOB internal radio is located in London? We know the diplomatic moves we have been taking and approaching the UK, all the damage it has done; but they don’t see it that way. For them, it is about freedom of expression.
"If we have a person in Nigeria openly soliciting arms to come and fight the UK, what would you think of it. Would you consider that freedom of expression? And this is a country that also has had a history; what did the Irish Repubublican Army (IRA) do to be labelled a terrorist organisation? They were planting bombs, they were fighting the British army.
"I don’t want any diplomatic row. We know for a fact where the funding is coming from and we are going to stop them but it is difficult to stop them and we have been working on it and we will not stop.”