By Biodun Busari
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that its members are behind vandalism of oil pipelines and other public infrastructures in the oil-rich Niger Delta resulting in fuel scarcity.
Buhari, who stated this in an interview with Bloomberg, had disclosed that his administration commenced a move to remove fuel subsidy, but yet could not go ahead with it.
In the interview, Buhari bemoaned that criminality was hindering oil production, adding that its government is not relenting in tackling oil theft and vandalism.
He stated, “Criminality and terrorism in oil-producing regions hamper production, and it would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure.”
Reacting in a statement by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, on Wednesday, IPOB said such claims are “laughable, wide and untenable allegation.”
IPOB stated that the developed countries know that its members are not engaging in that destructive activities as it stressed that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps threatened to name high profile Nigerians behind oil theft.
The statement partly reads, “The attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great and indefatigable leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the laughable, disgraceful and fallacious statement from the supposed President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that IPOB is behind pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
“Why should he choose to further advertise his ignorance and the failure of his Government in credible intelligence gathering by making such laughable, wide and untenable allegation?
“Muhammadu Buhari should tell America and other Western countries the locations of pipelines IPOB vandalised in their evil country. The allegation against IPOB by Buhari is childish because everybody knows that IPOB does not engage in pipeline vandalism in Nigeria. Even the international community knows that IPOB does not involve in such act.
“What a contradiction and confusion in Buhari’s Nigeria! In case he has forgotten as usual, just last week, his NSCDC (Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps) boss threatened to name high profile Nigerians behind oil theft. Did the NSCDC boss need to issue such a threat assuming IPOB a ‘terror organisation’ according to Buhari’s Nigeria is actually the ones behind the crime?
It further reads, “Buhari should be told that the West understands that his anger with IPOB is simply because IPOB remains the only obstacle to the evil agenda of his Fulani kinsmen to overrun Nigeria and declare it an Islamic State. That is why it is only in Nigeria that IPOB, a peaceful movement with presence in over 100 countries is tagged a terrorist organisation.
“One thing is certain, IPOB will hunt down those terrorists masquerading as herdsmen in Biafran bushes and forests. Whatever allegations they like let them fabricate. We can’t abdicate our divine mandate of defending our ancestral land against Fulani occupation.
“The world is watching everything happening in Nigeria and IPOB members will stand firm because we won’t allow them to take over our ancestral lands.
“Going to Bloomberg news and parroting falsehood against IPOB won’t save him and his co-travellers from being prosecuted in the ICC, the international criminal court at appropriate time.”