Senator Abaribe says there are more than 30 groups like IPOB in the southeast

The senator has long been tagged an IPOB sympathiser, an appellation he's repeatedly kicked against.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

Minority leader of the Nigerian Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South), says the federal government has more to worry about than the proscribed separatist Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) in the southeastern region.

IPOB has been blamed for a spate of violent attacks, killings and arson in an increasingly restive southeastern region, following the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu.

Abaribe, who stood surety for Kanu before the latter bolted in 2017, says he's far from a secessionist sympathiser, just days after President Buhari announced during a nationwide broadcast that one financier of separatist groups is a serving federal lawmaker.

“I am a supporter of the cries of our people against injustice…I stand with my people," Abaribe said during a ChannelsTV programme.

He added that: “One of the biggest problems that the media also has is that they tag everything IPOB in the southeast.

“In the southeast, you won’t believe that there are more than 30 different separatist organisations – IPOB, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), there are so many and each one of them comes back to the same thing.

“Why you are having separatist agitations everywhere today in the west, in the south, in the south-south, is that some people are unable to manage our diversity, that is just the fact.”

Kanu resumes his trial in court on terrorism and treasonable felony charges on October 21.

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