15 September 2017
By Justice Nwafor
The presidency has accused members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, of provoking soldiers of the Nigerian military to kill innocent people in its drive to get sympathy from the international community.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Thursday.
The presidential spokesman said the separatist group has employed the tactic of provocation in order to get the soldiers to retaliate, while the Nigerian military is “taking all precautions to observe the rules of engagement”.
He also revealed that the aim of the group is to get sympathy from the international community by accusing the Nigerian government of ethnic cleansing.
According to him, “While the military are taking all precautions to observe the rules of engagement, there is a deliberate sinister agenda by IPOB to provoke the soldiers into killing innocent people in retaliation so that Nnamdi Kanu would use the pictures of the victims for international propaganda by accusing the government of ethnic cleansing against the Igbo with the sole purpose of gaining sympathy”, he said.
Relatedly, Shehu reacted to accusations that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration hates and marginalises the Igbos.
He rebuffed it and explained that Igbo people have benefited from the administration of President Buhari.
He revealed that the two most important economic entities in the country- the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Central Bank of Nigeria – were being run by Igbo, Ibe Kachikwu and Godwin Emefiele, respectively.
“A President, who has put the nation’s cash cows, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Petroleum, in the hands of the Igbo; who has given four out of five states in the sub-region senior cabinet posts in his administration, including Foreign Affairs; and Industry, Trade and Investment, and is constructing the Second Niger Bridge after years of deceit and false starts, cannot be called a hater of the Igbo”, he said.