The Presidency has given stern warning on Wednesday to Yoruba Nation agitators against an alliance with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). It argued that their romance with IPOB has put a question mark on their claim to being rights promoters.
The Presidency asked the United Nations to ignore the demands made by the Yoruba Nation agitators, IPOB members in the Diaspora and Middle Belt activists for not being in line with the global body’s values.
Also on Wednesday, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila flayed secession agitators, saying there are not different from the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) and Boko Haram members.
The Yoruba Nation agitators, in collaboration with IPOB members in the Diaspora on Tuesday, stage a protest at the UN headquarters in New York, United States.
During the protest coordinated by the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), the agitators urged the UN to supervise a referendums in the Southern parts of Nigeria and the Middle Belt.
They also demanded an end to the killings allegedly being perpetrated by suspected herdsmen.
But in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Presidency said it was stunned to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates throwing their weight behind IPOB.
The statement reads: “For Nigerian diaspora groups to use the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes are not unexpected.
“It was, however shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday (Tuesday) unequivocally throw their lot in with IPOB.
”IPOB has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.
“It (IPOB) regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year. And it is currently attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.
“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps.
“No one can take seriously this organisation if it continues its IPOB association. When their allies systematically trample human rights, it raises sober questions about their claims to uphold the values of the UN.
“The cooperation is a worrying development, once parsed with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria.
”Actions and associations speak louder than words. Yoruba Nation’s talk of human rights promotion must therefore be ignored.”.
The Presidency also restated its commitment to the fight against corruption and illicit financial flows, adding that it would continue building and joining global alliances in the battle.
It said the Muhammadu Buhari Administration was steadfast in its fight against terrorism, particularly in the Sahel region.
The Presidency added: “The Nigerian government will continue its work at the UN- to fight against corruption and illicit financial flows, and international cooperation.
“If we want to see stolen funds returned to their rightful home in Nigeria, the government must continue to campaign for and coordinate global action on asset recovery.
“The government will remain the leading regional actor in the fight against global terror – particularly against threats emanating from the Sahel. Through the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps programme, the country also shares technical expertise with countries from the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific.
“At the same time, the administration is implementing a programme of environmental sustainability to combat developments, which destroy Nigerian communities in vulnerable regions.
“Only through the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development can we secure a prosperous future for Nigeria.
“As the largest country in Africa, the government takes seriously its leadership role and will continue to strive for continental unity, cooperation, and shared prosperity”, the statement said.
It, however, sought the media’s support in projecting the programme of the administration, saying “our expectation is therefore for the media to work with the government to focus attention on the core issues the President, the leader of the country has on his programme.”
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