Former Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, Friday, has said Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), of the Southeast and Southwest respectively, are not different from the insurgent group, Boko Haram.
According to him, IPOB and OPC have the same ideology with the Boko Haram insurgent group.
Dambazau, who is also a former Chief of Army Staff, stated that both IPOB and OPC are calling for secession of Nigeria, which is also one of the ideologies of the territorist group –Boko Haram
IPOB has gained significant media attention following the activism of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Kanu at several times had criticized the Nigerian government, alleging that the Eastern part of Nigeria is largely marginalized in terms political appointments.
Kanu has also been advocating for the secession of Ibos from Nigeria and the establishment of the Biafra Republic.
Also, OPC, is a Yoruba Nationalist Organization, which advocates for the rights of the Yorubas. The organization was formed by a group of Yoruba elites, in support of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO). Following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, the OPC fought for the mandate of MKO, who is widely believed to be the winner of the election.
However, the former Minister has said that there is no difference between IPOB, OPC and Boko Haram, as the three groups are allegedly using the tools of ethnicity to divide the country.
He stated that all three groups operate on the platform of extremism alongside secessionist threats.
He made this known during his speech at the inauguration of Army War College Nigeria Course 5/2021, in Abuja on Friday.
In his words: “They are all non-state actors; they all have separatist agenda to carve out states out of Nigeria’s territory; they all do not believe in the Nigerian project, its unity and peaceful co-existence just like BH.”