20170915

Presidency Replies Oby Ezekwesili... Says IPOB Provoking Nigerian Soldiers

The Presidency has replied ex-Minister Oby Ezekwesili, for accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of being a sectional leader.

The Presidency stated that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was deliberately provoking soldiers to commit acts of violence in order to draw sympathy from the international community.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Thursday. Shehu said;

“While the military are taking all precautions to observe the rules of engagement, there is a deliberate sinister agenda by IPOB to provoke the soldiers into killing innocent people in retaliation so that Nnamdi Kanu would use the pictures of the victims for international propaganda by accusing the government of ethnic cleansing against the Igbo with the sole purpose of gaining sympathy.”

Ezekwesili had advised President Buhari to rise above sectionalism and evacuate the soldiers deployed in the South-East as part of Operation Python Dance 2.

However, Shehu asked the former minister to stop being petty.

The statement read in part, “The Presidency has advised the Co-convener of the #BringBackOurGirls group, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, to demonstrate a great sense of responsibility in the face of national security challenges posed by the IPOB incendiary propaganda designed to cause civil unrest in the country.

“A prominent influencer like Mrs. Ezekwesili has a moral and patriotic duty not to give ammunition to any violent group that seems determined to pursue its separatist agitation through reckless and destructive methods.”

According to Shehu, Madam Ezekwesili failed to condemn IPOB and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who, he said, had been promoting violence for several months.

The President’s spokesman said since the former minister was very active on social media, she should have been using her energy to condemn the IPOB leader but she chose to look the other way.

Shehu added, “A President, who has put the nation’s cash cows, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Petroleum, in the hands of the Igbo; who has given four out of five states in the sub-region senior cabinet posts in his administration, including Foreign Affairs; and Industry, Trade and Investment, and is constructing the Second Niger Bridge after years of deceit and false starts, cannot be called a hater of the Igbo.”