FG redoubling efforts to have IPOB rightfully designated as a terrorist group – Garba Shehu
Oct. 25, 2021
The Presidency on Sunday night responded to the Economist describing its report as “Economist’s flawed anti-Nigeria cover”.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu said that the arrest and present trial of the terrorist leader of the South-East, IPOB, which the Economist rightly describes as “delusional” is the beginning of its demise.
He noted that the President’s administration is redoubling efforts to have IPOB rightfully designated as a terrorist group by our allies outside of Nigeria – an act which will collapse their ability to transact gains from crime and extortion in foreign currencies.
“It is important to remind the Economist and the global media that this group’s aggression and widespread presence on social media does not reflect their public support, for which they have none: all elected governors, all elected politicians and all elected state assemblies in the South-East – which IPOB claim to be part of their fantasy kingdom – reject them completely”.
The statement reads in part:
The only government of Nigeria which has ever sought a solution to the centuries-old herder-farmer disputes of the central belt is President Buhari’s administration. The Federal ranches programme, launched shortly after the President’s re-election is the first of its kind – and it is working: during the last 12 months clashes have significantly reduced.
The government now calls on State governors to have the imagination to join forces with the Federal administration and expand this programme by making available state lands for those interested, now that its effectiveness has been demonstrated.
The Economist opinionated and reported on banditry and kidnapping in the North-West. While this has been simmering for generations, it is the newest of the organized threats Nigeria faces to her stability. But this too the Economist inaccurately described: “bandits” who have the resources and technology to shoot down a military fighter jet are not bandits at all – but rather highly organised crime syndicates with huge resources and weaponry.
Yet they are essentially no different to Boko Haram in this regard who are now cornered. It will take time, but the President is unwavering in his determination to collapse this challenge to public order.
The Economist is correct: Nigeria faces multiple threats. They confluence now not because of this government; but on the contrary, it is this government which is addressing them concurrently, and simultaneously – when no other prior administration sought to adequately address even a single one. That is the difference between what has gone before and what we have now. It is why the President and his party were re-elected with’ an increased majority in national elections two years ago.