House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, has denied comparing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba Nation agitators to Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The representative of the Surulere area of Lagos has come under heavy criticism for his comments at Wednesday’s plenary.
A statement Wednesday night by his spokesman, Lanre Fasasi insisted there was no mention of any group during Gbaja’s address.
He noted that the Speaker condemned miscreants and criminals for taking advantage of the separatist agitations to carry out unscrupulous acts.
He quoted Gbajabiamila as saying: “In the South of Nigeria, East and West, miscreants and criminals masquerading as separatist activists have emerged to wreak havoc, take lives and commit economic sabotage against fellow Nigerians and the state.
“These people, in their inclination for devastating violence against fellow citizens, their appetite for the destruction of private property, their disruption of academic activities, commerce, and industry, their propensity for defiling institutions of the state, society and community, their refusal to engage in debate, or to consider the possibility of dissenting opinions and alternative viewpoints, are no different from Boko Haram and ISWAP.”
Fasasi said what was conspicuous in the speech was the focus on the activities of miscreants, criminals and effects on the country.
The aide stressed that the Speaker never condemned secessionists or compared them to terrorists.
“The Speaker is not alone on the concern about an apparent emergence of a band of miscreants and criminals as different patriotic Nigerians have expressed similar concerns”, the statement added.