President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, is tapping into the lying machinery of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Radio Biafra to diminish the killing of Christians in Nigeria says, Tony Nnadi, the Secretary-General of the Lower Niger Congress (LNC). He made the charge in a Zoom interview with Rudolf Okonkwo of Irokopost TV.
Mr. Nnadi said that the policymakers in America have verified the substances of LNC presentations and are beginning to take actions against the Nigerian government for the plight of Christians in Nigeria. He continued by stating that instead of the government of Nigeria to deal with the matter of the killings, Garba Shehu resorted to tying the facts to IPOB to confuse the world that the killings were another of those outlandish lies that Radio Biafra broadcast.
“My reading of it so far is that the propaganda machinery, the outlandish lies, the falsehoods, the kind of things that have been spewing out of Radio Biafra’s broadcast, had brought them where the whole world now knows that it is lying machinery,” Tony Nnadi said. “I think what Garba Shehu and his principals are trying to do is to put that liability… is to tap into that notoriety of the IPOB and their handlers, that notoriety for telling lies… they are now saying to the global community that it is this lying machinery, these characters that are full of propaganda that are alleging that Christians are being killed in Nigeria so that those who already know that the Radio Biafra and all their operators who churn out lies after lies, propaganda after propaganda; if they are the ones who are alleging that people are being killed in Nigeria, then, it could be one of those lies. I think that is where Garba Shehu is going with all of this.”
Mr. Nnadi, who is also an attorney in Lagos, then warned, “it is disingenuous for Garba Shehu, whatever may be his pursuit, to now try to do what Vice President Yemi Osinbajo could not do for them in coming to deny that people are not being killed in Nigeria.”
According to Mr. Nnadi, last year, Nigeria had dispatched Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the US to counter the substances of the presentations he made in January, and again in June, before senators, members of the House of Representatives and other policymakers in Washington DC. During the Vice President’s impromptu visit, he had argued that Christians were not being killed in Nigeria.
V. P. Osinbajo’s argument apparently fell on deaf ears. Last December, under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, Nigeria was placed on a Special Watch List of countries that engage or tolerate “systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom.” Nigeria joined Nicaragua, Sudan, and Cuba on that list. Other countries already on the list were Comoros, Russia, and Uzbekistan.
In a statement issued last week in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Garba Shehu alleged that Nnamdi Kanu, using his IPOB and Radio Biafra had been spending $85,000 a month to discredit Nigeria in the eyes of the international community. Mr. Shehu said that IPOB was “using false allegations of persecution of Christians against the Nigerian State.”
Reacting to Garba Shehu’s statement, Tony Nnadi said that “Nnamdi Kanu was not involved in the discussion that led to the executive order signed by President Trump…The people that we are dealing with in Washington DC, as far back as January of last year, told me that they have verified that we are not part of the scam called IPOB and the fellow who is head of the franchise driving it.”
Mr. Shehu also alleged that IPOB was “calling for a US Special Envoy to be appointed to stop the “genocide” of Christians in Nigeria.”
Mr. Nnadi had in previous interviews said, that of paramount importance to his group was, for the US to send a Special Envoy to Nigeria. He repeated, “the crux of our demand from President Trump is to send a point man to Nigeria to look at what is going on with the killing of Christians.”
The Lagos-based lawyer said that LNC had told Trump’s government officials that they shouldn’t declare victory against ISIS because ISIS had relocated to West Africa. “You couldn’t separate Boko Haram from the man who said that an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the North… You couldn’t separate Boko Haram from the man who told the governor of Benue State, who had come to complain that their people are being killed by these strangers- Fulani herdsmen, so-called Fulani militia, and the President of Nigeria told the governor, you go home and learn how to live with the Fulani of Benue.”
Mr. Nnadi also alleged that the influx of Fulani herdsmen into Nigeria is a collusion involving the government of Nigeria at the highest level. “Someone somewhere is presiding over that influx of Fulani into Southern Nigeria,” he said to Irokopost TV’s Rudolf Okonkwo. “These varieties of Fulanis that have just come from wherever they came, already have National ID Cards of Nigeria when they could not speak any of Nigeria’s languages. …What is going on is proof of that collusion.”
In a reconciliatory note, Mr. Nnadi said that his group was not bothered about what was on the minds of people like Garba Shehu or to whom they give the credit for the success of the LNC’s international pressure. “You can see that we had a problem, we dissected it and we arranged it in a manner that it could be solved and we went to the people who could begin to solve it because there was a convergence of interests.”
In part 2 of the interview, Tony Nnadi discussed the situation in Imo State, how his group plans to bring down the 1999 constitution and what would happen to those elected officials from the lower Niger area who would be caught associating with the Nigerian Federal Government while the majority of their people are ready to move beyond the 1999 constitution.