President Muhammadu Buhari's special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, has slammed the conduct of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Tokyo, Japan.
The president arrived in Japan on Monday, August 26, 2019 ahead of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) amid threats from IPOB, a southeast-based separatist group, that he would be publicly disgraced.
The group, led by Nnamdi Kanu, currently a fugitive, was responsible for the harassment and assault of Senator Ike Ekweremadu at an event in Germany weeks ago.
Kanu has promised future attacks on Nigerian leaders abroad, mainly for the treatment of Igbos in the southeast region and the designation of IPOB as a terrorist organisation in 2017.
In an article posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, August 28, Adesina said the presidency was never worried about the threats from "a fringe and shadowy group, long outlawed in Nigeria, to cause commotion, and embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari and his team".
He further went on to describe how the group staged a protest that he described as shameful.
"In paroxysm of pain and frustration, they had shot a video at the home of the Nigerian Ambassador to Tokyo, threatening to 'allest' and 'tly' their own father, with Japanese police 'coplating'.
"Shameful and ridiculous for every right thinking Nigerian," he said.
Adesina said the group has been paid "scant attention" by the presidency, and that the group was not mentioned when Buhari received briefings on activities for Wednesday.
"It was time for serious business, I say again, and nobody had time for any distraction," he said.
Kanu was arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) in 2015 and charged with treasonable felony, inciting violence and hate speech, among other charges, for his secessionist activities.
He spent two years in custody until he was granted bail on health grounds in April 2017.
In the ensuing months, he constantly violated his bail conditions and eventually disappeared in September 2017 after a week of high-profile clashes between IPOB and Nigerian Army troops on "Operation Python Dance" which was believed to have targeted the group.
IPOB was also designated a terrorist organisation that same month by the Federal Government and had its activities proscribed.
Kanu has vowed that Nigerian leaders, most especially from the southeast, will be targeted by IPOB members anytime they venture abroad, just like Ekweremadu.
"We have nominated five persons each in every country of the world who are ready to be arrested and be jailed for this purpose.
"Many of us have been killed so what is there in going to jail," he said in a broadcast on Sunday, August 18.