Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, has said the federal government has the capacity to curtail the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.
Onyeama describe IPOB as an internal threat that can be handled by federal government.
Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, Onyeama said Nigeria does not require any international help to curb the threats posed by the activities of IPOB.
He said IPOB is different from Boko Haram which captures territories and kills innocent people.
Onyeama said the Boko Haram sect became an internal threat when it pledged alliance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“IPOB is, as of now, an internal threat and Nigeria does not need international assistance to resolve it,” Onyeama said.
“Boko Haram is not an internal threat; it is an international threat. When the group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it became international threat.”
Onyeama said the position of President Muhammadu Buhari was that the constitution of the country should be respected.
He said the Buhari’s administration does not want to be distracted from achieving its agenda.
“The important thing we should be focusing on is nation-building using the existing democratic structures,” the minister said.
“I think that Mr President came and had an agenda for the country and you really just don’t want to be distracted from that agenda.
“The economy, which was in a terrible state when this government came in, went into recession for the first time in decades and we’re just coming out of that recession.
“We want to keep on that path and we believe that a lot of these issues and challenges in the country have their bases in the economics.
“If we can provide a good living standard and quality of life for our people, all these issues (Biafra agitation) will fall by the way side.
“That is why we must not be distracted from transforming the economy of our country. What I’m saying is that we want to focus on the economy.
“We believe if we can get the economy right, a lot of the young people who feel that Nigeria as presently constituted is not addressing their problems, is not giving them the hope, will change their perspective.”
On Friday, the defence headquarters branded IPOB a terrorist organisation.
By Tony Nwanne