FG blows hot over UK’s decision to grant asylum to IPOB, MASSOB members


The Federal Government on Tuesday has expressed anger over a plan by the United Kingdom to offer asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in an interview with news men in Abuja, said the plan was disrespectful to Nigeria as a nation.

He stated, “Let me say straightaway 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.

The minister recalled that there had been heightened attacks against security agencies in the South East Zone.

But socio-political groups including the Middle Belt Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere and the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, supported the asylum offer by the UK and berated the Federal Government over the development.

The UK Visas and Immigration has issued new guidelines to its decision makers on how to consider and grant asylum applications of members of Biafran secessionist groups in Nigeria.

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