The Presidency has warned Yoruba Nation protesters to be mindful of the relationship with the proscribed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, gave the warning while reacting to the protest staged by both groups at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on Tuesday.
The agitators, who carried placards and chanted protest songs, called on Nigerian leaders and stakeholders to rise up and fight for secession.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, Shehu said while protest is a legitimate right, it was not proper for the demonstrators to associate with a terrorist group.
Highlighting the atrocities committed by IPOB, the presidential spokesperson said the outlawed group had already announced a “50,000 strong paramilitary organisation”.
“For Nigerian diaspora groups to use the world’s largest platform – the United Nations General Assembly – to garner attention to their causes is not unexpected,” he said.
“It was, however shocking, to see “Yoruba Nation” advocates yesterday unequivocally throw their lot in with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“IPOB is a designated terrorist organisation. It has now publicly revealed a 50,000 strong paramilitary organisation.
“It regularly murders security services and innocent civilians, with a significant uptick of violent attacks this year. And it is currently attempting to hold Nigerian states hostage with orders to stay at home under threat of terror.
“Without doubt, Nigerians and the entire world will judge Yoruba Nation by the company it keeps.
“No one can take seriously this organisation if it continues its IPOB association. When their allies systematically trample human rights, it raises sober questions about their claims to uphold the values of the UN.
“The cooperation is a worrying development, once parsed with Yoruba Nation’s increasingly violent rallies in Nigeria. Actions and associations speak louder than words. Yoruba Nation’s talk of human rights promotion must therefore be ignored.”