September 15, (NaijaOnPoint Media) – The Presidency on Wednesday faulted the Yoruba Nation agitators for joining the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in storming the United Nations ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s participation in the General Assembly, saying that they would be judged by the company they keep.
The statement is a reaction to an ongoing protest by a coalition of Indigenous groups of agitators at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
NaijaOnPoint Media reports that the Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination (NINAS), an umbrella body of self-determination groups in the South-West, South-South, South-East and Middle Belt, had protested at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
Chairman of the Group, Professor Banji Akintoye, had said the protest is meant to show to the world the genocide being perpetrated by murderous herdsmen in the name of grazing in the South and Middle-Belt of Nigeria.
He said the people of the South and Middle-Belt want to show to the world the crimes against humanity, attacks on press freedom, free speech and other criminalities being aided by the Buhari led government of Nigeria.
Faulting the protest in a statement issued on Wednesday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, The Presidency reminded the Yoruba Nation agitators that IPOB is a designated terrorist organization with 50,000 strong paramilitary personnel.
While noting that no one would take the Yoruba Nation seriously if they continued to associate with IPOB, The Presidency said with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria, their talks of human rights promotion must be ignored.
The statement reads: “For Nigerian diaspora groups to use the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes is not unexpected.
“It was, however shocking, to see ‘Yoruba Nation’ advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.
“It regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year. And it is currently attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.
“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge the Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps.
“No one can take this organisation seriously if it continues its IPOB association. When their allies systematically trample human rights, it raises sober questions about their claims to uphold the values of the UN.
“The cooperation is a worrying development, once parsed with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria.
“Actions and associations speak louder than words. Yoruba Nation’s talk of human rights promotion must therefore be ignored.
“Meanwhile, the Nigerian government will continue its work at the UN- to fight against corruption and illicit financial flows, and international cooperation.
“If we want to see stolen funds returned to their rightful home in Nigeria, the government must continue to campaign for and coordinate global action on asset recovery.
“The government will remain the leading regional actor in the fight against global terror – particularly against threats emanating from the Sahel. Through the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps programme, the country also shares technical expertise with countries from the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific.
“At the same time, the administration is implementing a programme of environmental sustainability to combat developments which destroys Nigerian communities in vulnerable regions.
“Only through the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development can we secure a prosperous future for Nigeria.
“As the largest country in Africa, the government takes its leadership role and will continue to strive for continental unity, cooperation, and shared prosperity.
“Our expectation is therefore for the media to work with the government to focus attention on the core issues the President, the leader of the country has on his programme.”