The self-acclaimed leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, says the Nigerian government made Boko Haram “metamorphose from a peaceful group agitating for a Sharia state in the northeast to a terrorist group”.
Kanu, who resurfaced in Jerusalem, Israel on 19 October after the military invasion of his community in Abia state, made this claim in a two-and-half-hour worldwide broadcast via radio Biafra from his base in Israel.
The IPOB leader said the group picked up arms after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf and some members of the group were killed.
Making reference to the recent attack carried out on a military base in Metele, a remote village near the Nigerian border with Niger by Boko Haram terrorists, Kanu said: “I take no delight in Boko Haram killing anybody but there is something I must tell the whole world this evening that some of you don’t know.
Speaking further, the IPOB leader said: “Boko Haram was like IPOB before. Do you know that? They were peaceful agitating for an Islamic state in the northeast, understand this very well. I don’t know who feed foreign governments their news, I don’t know what the ambassadors are doing in Nigeria because they lied to their government I’m sorry to say this, most ambassadors in Nigeria lied to their host governments.
“Do you know that Boko Haram was peaceful? They won’t tell you that. Boko Haram didn’t just wake up one morning and become a terrorist group, something caused it to happen and that is the same thing they tried to do to me. The day they came to my house, I can assure you had they killed me Nnia Nwodo and his family will be dead by now the same thing with every governor in the southeast and they know this very well.
“Had they succeeded in killing me on the 14th of September, what do you think IPOB will do? Do you think IPOB will fold their hands and just be watching you? No, they will come after Nigeria in a very grand style, I assure you, worse than Boko Haram.
“You have people all over the world say that Boko Haram is this and that, it’s a lie, it was the Nigerian government that made Boko Haram metamorphose from a peaceful group agitating for a Sharia state in the northeast to a terrorist group, it is the fault of Nigeria. That is the fact of life.
“Nigeria out of their stupidity and wickedness created Boko Haram. Do you know how Boko Haram came about? They killed Mohammed Yusuf. Mohammed Yusuf was the leader of Boko Haram. They killed him. What did he do? He said he wants a referendum in the northeast so that people can follow Sharia and that is their business.
“They never meant to pick up arms for one day, it was when the Nigerian police and the army went to Maiduguri, killed Yusuf and started killing people indiscriminately that was when they picked up arms, so tomorrow they will start killing IPOB, any day we say no and we pick up arms they will say we are a terrorist group,” the pro-Biafra activist added.