The Presidency has voiced concern about attempts by Yoruba Nation agitators and IPOB to disrupt President Muhammadu Buhari’s upcoming visit to New York for this year’s United Nations General Assembly.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, raised the alarm.
According to the presidential adviser, it was inappropriate for Yoruba Nation agitators to link themselves with an unlawful organization like IPOB in order to smear Nigeria’s image overseas.
He believes it is not unusual for Nigerian diaspora organizations to use the world’s largest forum – the United Nations General Assembly – to draw attention to their problems.
”It was, however shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
”IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.
”It 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,” he said.
Shehu, however, maintained that the Nigerian government would continue its work at the UN- to fight against corruption and illicit financial flows, and international cooperation.
He said: ”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,” he added.
According to the presidential adviser, Nigeria will continue to be the major regional actor in the fight against global terrorism, particularly threats emerging from the Sahel.
He added that the government would continue to share technical skills with countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Pacific through the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps program.
He also announced that the administration was putting in place an environmental sustainability program to prevent developments that are destroying Nigerian communities in vulnerable areas.
”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.
”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,” he said.