The proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) sponsored the listing of Nigeria amongst countries that suppress religious freedom by the United States.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made the allegation on Friday at the Federal University Dutsinma in Katsina State while presenting a paper titled “Fake News: Challenges of Information Management” as part of the convocation lecture of the institution.
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“Just recently, the US-Biden administration removed Nigeria from the list of countries under scrutiny for alleged violations of religious freedom.
“This sad and uncalled for ban came on the heels of 12 months of lies by some extremist groups and the banned terrorist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB’s well-funded international media campaign,” he said.
Shehu said Nigeria should never have been on the list but it was included after paid right-wing American lobbyists were funded millions of dollars by IPOB to spread falsehoods and misinformation about the country.
“Those who willingly took money from terrorists spread falsehoods against a democratically elected government.
“They took advantage of well meaning, God-fearing Americans to whom they spread their lies.
“Their aim was to drive a wedge, for political advantage, between the two great religions and by doing so make true their fake claims that Muslims and Christians cannot live side-by-side in love and peace.
“They did not care if their maliciousness was the cause of religious tension. In fact, it is possible they sought to encourage it to prove their point.
“Yet despite all the funds at their disposal, they only convinced for a brief time those who had been voted out of office by US citizens to add Nigeria to the list,” the Presidential spokesman added.