The Nigerian government has condemned the decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to “persecuted” members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.
Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, called it a disrespect to Nigeria, sabotage on the fight against terrorism and an undermining of Nigeria’s security.
The official spoke a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) interview program, NANForum, on Tuesday.
Mohammed said the problem is under the purview of the Foreign Affairs Minister whom he believes would handle it properly.
“As the spokesman for the Federal Government of Nigeria, I will say that if indeed the report that the UK will grant asylum to supposedly persecuted IPOB and MASSOB members is true, then something is wrong somewhere.
“Against the background of the fact that IPOB is not only proscribed but also designated as a terrorist organisation here in Nigeria, the UK’s decision is disrespectful of Nigeria as a nation.
“The decision amounts to sabotaging the fight against terrorism and generally undermining Nigeria’s security. It is not only unconscionable, it is inexplicable,’’ he said.
If we could go down the memory lane, what the UK has done is like Nigeria offering asylum to members of the IRA before the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement,’’ he said.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has provided new guidance to its decision-makers on how to consider and award asylum applications from members of Biafran separatist groups.
IPOB and MASSOB members who have been “persecuted” will be granted asylum.