- The government of France has denied any links with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
- The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed had on Wednesday, September 20 said that IPOB was being financed by France
- The French government also challenged Nigerian government to provide documentary evidence to support its claims
The government of France has denied any links with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the group seeking a referendum to carve out a separate country in the southeast region of Nigeria.
New Telegraph reports that the federal government of Nigeria which launched a brutal military clamp down on the separatist group last week, subsequently proscribed and declared it a terrorist organisation.
READ ALSO: IPOB protests as court declares group a terrorist organisation
NAIJ.com gathered that the government also alleged that the group was being funded from France and that it would take urgent measures to block it.
But in a said reaction on Thursday, September 21, the Embassy of France in Nigeria expressed surprised by the statement made yesterday (Wednesday) by the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB were in France.
The statement signed by the political counsellor, Embassy of France in Nigeria, Claude Abily, challenged the federal government of Nigeria to provide documentary evidence to substantiate its claims that France was the financial headquarters of the separatist group.
The statement read: “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement made yesterday by the Minister of Information and Culture indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB were in France.
“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this point. We stand ready to examine any information which could support this statement.
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“Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the unity of the country,” the Embassy said.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, has disclosed that the financial headquarters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is located in France.
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