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General News of Wednesday, 21 April 2021


Granting asylum to IPOB members disrespectful to Nigeria - FG tells UK

Following the news of the United Kingdom granting asylum to "persecuted" members of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), the federal government of Nigeria has described this decision as disrespectful.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, indicated that the decision also sabotages the fight against terrorism in the country, thereby undermining its security.

Speaking to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja, yesterday, April 20, 2021, Lai Mohammed noted that the decision by the UK was unacceptable to Nigeria.

“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,’’ he said.

He revealed that attacks against security agencies in the South East Zone have been reported to have been orchestrated by IPOB, although the group denied its involvement.

“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,’’ he said.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) released new guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications to members of Biafran secessionist group.

According to the guidelines, asylum can be granted to “persecuted” members of IPOB, a group that Nigeria had designated as a terrorist organisation.

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