IPOB not a terrorist group, says US

The United States of America says it does not view the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.

Speaking with Punch, Russell Brooks, spokesman for the US embassy in Nigeria, said: “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 .

“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.”

Brooks, however, did not comment on whether the Federal Government had asked the US to treat IPOB as a terrorist organisation and to block money sent to IPOB from the US .

He also did not state the US’ position on the agitation for a Biafran state .



    Last week, the defence headquarters designated the IPOB as a terrorist group and an executive order to that effect was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari before he left for the United States.

    On Tuesday, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation went a step further by obtaining a court order to officially declare the group an unlawful organisation.

    The court order also stated that anybody that engages in the group’s activities risks a prison sentence of up to 20 years in accordance with the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 as amended.

    Similarly, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, criticised France and the United Kingdom for subtly supporting IPOB’s activities. Both countries have denied the allegations.

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