The Nigerian presidency has accused global human rights body, Amnesty International of defending the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Garba Shehu, spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, who made the allegation in a statement on Wednesday, insisted that IPOB is a proscribed terrorist group out to destroy the country.
Shehu was responding to a report by the human rights body to mark the International Day of Support for Victims of Enforced Disappeared on Monday, which condemned the Buhari government for increase in sudden disappearance of Nigerians in custody.
The rights group had decried the disappearance of over 200 people – including former Niger Delta militants, members of IPOB and #EndSARS protesters.
However, Mr Shehu in a statement on Wednesday dismissed Amnesty International’s statement as a “rant,” though he did not respond to several cases of disappearance in detention listed in the body’s statement.
“Speaking the language of universal human rights, Amnesty International deploys it only in defence – even outright promotion – of those that violently oppose the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Mr Shehu said.
“Parroting the line of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, a proscribed terror organisation, they work to legitimise its cause to Western audiences.”
Mr Shehu further claimed that IPOB members have cache of weapons and bombs across the country, adding that Mr Buhari will fight terrorism with everything at his disposal.
“IPOB murder Nigerian citizens. They kill police officers and military personnel and set government property on fire.
“Now, they have amassed a substantial stockpile of weapons and bombs across the country. Were this group in a Western country, you would not expect to hear Amnesty’s full-throated defence of their actions. Instead, there would be silence or mealy-mouthed justification of Western governments’ action to check the spread of ‘terrorism’,” Mr Shehu said.
“The Nigerian government will fight terrorism with all the means at its disposal. We will ignore Amnesty’s rantings. Especially when it comes from an organisation that does not hold itself to the same standards it demands of others,” he added.