The Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has accused the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) sponsoring foreign individuals against Nigeria.
The presidency stated that the pro-Biafra group was behind the listing of Nigeria amongst countries that suppress religious freedom.
Recall that the administration of former US President, Donald Trump, had in 2020 placed Nigeria among countries against freedom of religion.
But the Joe Biden-government had recently removed Nigeria in a list containing China and Russia.
Speaking on Friday at the Federal University Dutsinma in Katsina State, the Senior Special Assistant to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, insisted that Nigeria should never have been placed on such list.
“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.
The presidential aide claimed that paid right-wing American lobbyists were funded millions of dollars by IPOB to spread falsehoods and misinformation about the country, hence, Nigeria’s inclusion on the list.
Garba Shehu said: “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.”