President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the nation’s western allies to proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.
He made the remarks in an interview with Bloomberg.
The President was responding to a question about his administration’s record on fighting insecurity and corruption.
According to Buhari, the country is safer than he met in 2015 and proscribing IPOB, a group seeking secession of parts of Southern Nigeria, will improve the situation.
“We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it,” the President said. “Corruption is less hidden for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.
“In 2015, Boko Haram held territory the size of Belgium within the borders of Nigeria. Today they are close to extinct as a military force. The leader of ISWAP was eliminated by a Nigerian Airforce airstrike in March. The jets acquired from the US and intelligence shared by British were not provided to previous administrations and stand as testament to renewed trust re-built between Nigeria and our traditional western allies under my government.
“We urge those same international partners to take additional steps costing them nothing, by proscribing another group – IPOB – as a terrorist organization. Their leadership enjoys safe haven in the West, broadcasting hate speech into Nigeria from London, spending millions lobbying members of the US Congress, and freely using international financial networks to arm agitators on the ground. This must stop.
“My administration is the only in Nigeria’s history to implement a solution to decades-long herder-farmer conflicts, exacerbated by desertification and demographic growth. The National Livestock Transformation Plan, putting ranching at its core, is the only way to deplete the competition for resources at the core of the clashes. Governors from some individual states have sought to play politics where ranches have been established; but where they have been disputes have dramatically reduced.”