The United States Government has said it does not consider the Indigenous People of Biafra a terrorist organisation.Last week, the Federal High Court in Abuja gave a judicial backing the executive order of President Muhammadu Buhari, outlawing the group and its activities in the country.The court granted the order to proscribe the group on Wednesday.
It declared that the activities of the group constituted acts of terrorism.The Federal Government also accused France and the United Kingdom of aiding IPOB activities.The spokesman for the American Embassy in Nigeria, Russell Brooks, told SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday that the US government does not view IPOB as a terrorist group.
He said this in response to our correspondent’s email which asked if the United States sees IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
Brooks stated further that the US was committed to Nigeria’s unity and would support a peaceful resolution of any crisis in the country.
He said, “The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy.
“Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organisation under US law.”
The US embassy, however, declined to comment on whether the Federal Government had asked it to treat IPOB as a terrorist organisation and to block money sent to IPOB from the US.
Brooks also did not state the US’ position on the agitation for a Biafran state.
Speaking after the court judgment last week, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said the Federal Government would proceed to gazette the order proscribing the group.