Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday alleged that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of spending $85,000 monthly to wage a religious war against Nigeria.
Mr Shehu specifically accused the group, led by Nnamdi Kanu, of using false allegations of persecution of Christians against the Nigerian State.
The presidential spokesman, in a statement in Abuja, said that the Federal Government had since uncovered two interconnected campaigns being run concurrently by the IPOB in that regard.
According to him, both are using the cover of Christianity – and calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria.
He said the real purpose was to drive a wedge between the Nigerian government and its US and UK/European allies.
“IPOB leadership of course self-proclaims as ‘Jewish,’ a position not shared by the generality of the members.
“For reasons of convenience, it claims to have an interest in the welfare of Christians – but this is a ruse.
“The case for independence, IPOB leadership believes, is strengthened by
proving’ the government of Nigeria isautocratic’, engaged in a `silent slaughter’ of citizens along religion and ethnic lines – and that, therefore, the only viable option for the unique religious and ethnic minority is a sovereign Biafra separate from Nigeria,’’ he said.
The presidential aide therefore advised Nigerians and the international community to be wary of this divisive campaign, “which available evidence shows is being funded with a monthly spending of $85,000 USD since October 2019, with no records of the source of this largesse.”
He observed that the campaign had taken the form of producing articles in the names of the alleged Christian NGOs’ leaders (of campaign groups created at the time this PR contract with a US lobbying firm was signed), and letters to, and from members of Congress, to the White House.