The minister believes IPOB poses a greater danger to the country’s national security than Fulani herdsmen.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has insisted on the Federal Government’s position that Fulani herdsmen are not terrorists, unlike separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the minister revealed that herdsmen’s acts of violence in the country “should not be confused with terrorism acts”.
Despite that the group was named the fourth deadliest group in the world in 2014’s Global Terrorism Index, Mohammed believes herdsmen have a different agenda to IPOB’s separatist campaign, saying the Nnamdi Kanu-led group poses a bigger danger to the country’s national security.
He said, “For instance, Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader was caught on tape, saying that they want Biafra and not peacefully, but by force.
“He declared that if they do not get Biafra, Somalia will be a paradise with the kind of mayhem they will unleash on Nigeria.
“The group openly embraced arms and ammunition and the leader set up Biafra National Guard, Biafra Secret Service and openly attacked army formations.
“When an organisation decides to not just attack the Army but set up its own parallel government; when an organisation openly solicits for arms all over the world; when an organisation starts issuing out its own passports and currency and does not recognise the democratically elected government, then it becomes a different thing.”
Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also dismissed suggestions that herdsmen are terrorists, stating that they’re merely criminal gangs.
He said that while the Federal Government is doing its best to curb the menace of herdsmen, they’re only criminal gangs, unlike IPOB that has threatened the country’s sovereignty.