The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has dismissed the allegation of vandalising pipelines leveled against the secessionist group by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari accused IPOB of vandalising oil pipelines and other infrastructure.
Buhari, who stated this in an interview with Bloomberg, said although his administration last year began moves to remove fuel subsidy, it discovered that the moves were not tenable.
Reacting to this allegation by the president in an interview with The Punch, IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, dismissed it, describing the claim as laughable.
IPOB which was founded in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu, has been agitating for the restoration of the Republic of Biafra. Kanu, a British Nigerian political activist is a fierce critic of the Nigerian government and also known for his advocacy of the contemporary Biafran independence movement.
On June 29, 2021, the Nigerian government announced that Kanu had been rearrested. He was subsequently charged to court again and remanded in the custody of the department of state services.
In the interview with Bloomberg, Buhari lamented that criminality was hindering oil production, adding that the country had stepped up its efforts in combating oil theft and vandalism.
He stated, “Criminality and terrorism in oil-producing regions hamper production, and it would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure.”
He said government efforts in combating oil theft were succeeding
“These efforts are making an impact: wells that had to be closed due to criminality have now re-opened. With these efforts, OPEC has raised our quota for next month.
“We have invested in our security forces, including the $1 billion military deal with the U.S. for the acquisition of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.
“These efforts are making an impact: wells that had to be closed due to criminality have now re-opened. With these efforts, OPEC has raised our quota for next month.”
Responding to Buhari’s allegation, IPOB spokesman, Powerful, stated that it was “funny” and “laughable.”
He said the group’s only interest was the actualisation of the “Biafra freedom struggle” and nothing else.
He stated IPOB’s leadership was studying Buhari’s comments and would respond to him appropriately.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vantage News Nigeria or any employee thereof.