The House Speaker said IPOB and Yoruba Nation activists have become increasingly unreasonable and unwelcoming of dissent, therefore “are no different from Boko Haram and ISWAP.”
House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on Monday condemned members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and Yoruba Nation as terrorists seeking the destruction of the country’s economy.
Mr Gbajabiamila’s comments during the House plenary on Wednesday came barely weeks after Peoples Gazette reported his acceptance of $2 million in cash bribes, alongside Senate President Ahmad Lawan who also accepted the same amount to force reduction of host communities entitlement to three per cent before passing the historic petroleum industry law.
Mr Gbajabiamila, from Lagos, said IPOB and Yoruba Nation activists have become increasingly unreasonable and unwelcoming of dissent and therefore “are no different from Boko Haram and ISWAP.”
“Given space and time, they will take our nation down the same path of destruction,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
“In the South of Nigeria, East and West, miscreants and criminals masquerading as separationist activists have emerged to wreak havoc, take lives and commit economic sabotage against fellow Nigerians and the state,” the Speaker added.
His comments came two days after suspected IPOB insurgents attacked a high school in Imo and prevented students from sitting for their graduation exam, WAEC.
IPOB linked ESN fighters have also been accused by federal authorities of taking up arms against the Nigerian state, a claim the group’s leaders have continued to deny.
Yoruba Nation leader Sunday Igboho has also repeatedly eschewed violence amongst his followers but promised to liberate Yoruba from northern subjugation.
Mr Igboho was arrested in the neighbouring Benin Republic in July while trying to catch a flight to Germany. He has remained in Beninois custody ever since.