The Federal Government on Tuesday described the reported decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while fielding questions at a News Agency of Nigeria flagship interview programme, NAN Forum, in Abuja, said the decision was unacceptable to Nigeria.
He said the decision was akin to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.
“Let me say straight away that this issue is within the purview of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and I am sure he will handle it appropriately.
“But as the spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, I will say that if indeed the report that the UK will grant asylum to supposedly persecuted IPOB and MASSOB members is true, then something is wrong somewhere.
“Against the background of the fact that IPOB is not only proscribed but also designated as a terrorist organisation here in Nigeria, the UK’s decision is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.
“The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security.
“It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable,’’ the minister stated.
He noted the IPOB had been fingered as being behind the recent heightened attacks against security agencies in the Southeast
“For the UK to choose this time to give succour to IPOB beggars belief and calls to question the UK’s real intention.
“If we could go down the memory lane, what the UK has done is like Nigeria offering asylum to members of the IRA before the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement,’’ the minister said.