FLASHBACK: IPOB Not A Terrorist Group, says US

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The US embassy in Nigeria says it does not consider the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organisation.

In 2017, the federal high court, Abuja, declared IPOB a terrorist organisation after the Nigerian army and south-eastern governors proscribed activities of the group.

Thereafter, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of federation, said the federal government would gazette the court order proscribing IPOB.

Although the court declared that the activities of the group constituted acts of terrorism, IPOB has asked the court to vacate the order.

But speaking with PUNCH, Russell Brooks, spokesman for the US embassy, appealed to Nigerians to resolve their grievances peacefully.

Brooks said the US is committed to Nigeria’s unity.

According to him, political and economic issues such as the allocation of resources amongst others are topics for debate in a democracy.

“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,” Brooks 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 position of the US government is coming after Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, had said the financial headquarters of the group is in France, and that the UK government did not honour its request to shut down Radio Baifra.

While the French government responded by saying it had no knowledge of IPOB’s presence in its country, the UK government denied receiving a request from Nigeria regarding Radio Biafra.

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