President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the international community to designate the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist organization and take additional steps to proscribe it.
Buhari, who made the demands in an interview he granted Bloomberg News, which transcripts his media office made available to journalists, lamented that the leadership of the group “enjoys safe haven in the West, broadcasting hate speech into Nigeria from London, spending millions lobbying members of the U.S. Congress, and freely using international financial networks to arm agitators on the ground.”
He also attributed Nigeria’s inability to meet its OPEC quota in crude production to the alleged criminal activities of IPOB in the oil producing regions, saying the group was complicit in damage to pipelines and infrastructure.
Buhari, who also defended his government’s decision to retain fuel subsidy against the advice of the experts, accused western powers urging him to do so of double standards.
“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now? What is good for the goose is good for the gander! What our western allies are learning the hard way is what looks good on paper and the human consequences are two different things.
“My government set in motion plans to remove the subsidy late last year. After further consultation with stakeholders, and as events unfolded this year, such a move became increasingly untenable.
“Boosting internal production for refined products shall also help. Capacity is due to step up markedly later this year and next, as private players and modular refineries (Dangote Refinery, BUA Group Refinery, Waltersmith Refinery) come on board,” he said.
Buhari, who will bow out of office on May 29, 2023, said he would leave Nigeria in a far better place than he left it.
“We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.
“In 2015, Boko Haram held territory the size of Belgium within the borders of Nigeria. Today they are close to extinct as a military force. The leader of ISWAP was eliminated by a Nigerian Airforce airstrike in March. The jets acquired from the U.S. and intelligence shared by British were not provided to previous administrations and stand as testament to renewed trust re-built between Nigeria and our traditional western allies under my government,” Buhari claimed