Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has accused the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of using Christianity to wage war against.
It alleged that the divisive campaigns designed to drive a wedge between Nigeria and her allies has gulped $85, 000.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, investigations by an agency of the Nigerian government, working with international partners have revealed that there were two interconnected campaigns being run concurrently by IPOB in this regard.
The Presidency added that both campaigns were using the cover of Christianity – and calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria.
The statement read in part: “IPOB leadership of course self-proclaims as ‘Jewish’ a position not shared by the generality of the members.
“For reasons of convenience, he claims to have an interest in the welfare of Christians – but this is a ruse: the case for independence, the leader believes, is strengthened by “proving” the government of Nigeria is “autocratic”, engaged in a “silent slaughter” of their own citizens along religion and ethnic lines – and that therefore the only viable option for the unique religious and ethnic minority is a sovereign Biafra separate from Nigeria.
“Nigerians and the international community are advised to be wary of this divisive campaign, which available evidence shows is being funded with a monthly spending of $85,000 USD since October 2019, with no records of the source of this largesse.
“The campaign consists of producing articles in the names of the alleged Christian NGOs’ leaders (of campaign groups created at the time this PR contract with a US lobbying firm was signed) and letters to and from members of Congress to the White House.
“Unfortunately, some members of Congress have clearly been persuaded there is indeed a “Christian persecution” underway in Nigeria – and do so quoting the campaign – and they are known to be taking up the case directly with the White House to appoint the special envoy.
“The American charity secured a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and has made presentations to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.”
“There is also a UK and European angle of the Campaign, which is more opaque than its US sister campaign – given there is less legal requirement for public filings – but what is known of this at the moment is that their Budget is sufficient to hire four PR firms in the UK, Belgium, France and the US (the latter additional to the above).
“They have founded an “NGO/Charity” and a linked web-based campaign named “Stop the Silent Slaughter” which is well designed and complete with video “evidence”-completely concocted. Members of the alleged Christian NGO have had multiple Op-Ed articles in conservative news websites promulgating their message of a “Christian Genocide.” Some of those articles have also been used as “evidence” in the sister US campaign.”