By Fiona Freddy
France has denied reports that the Financial Headquarters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is located in that country.
Political Counsellor, Claude Abily of the Embassy of France in a statement, in Abuja, said it was shocked by the statement attributed to Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, which claimed that the financial headquarters of IPOB is in France.
Abily said France is ready to cooperate with Nigeria to investigate the veracity of the Federal government’s claim, adding that France as a country has been giving support to Nigeria in tackling her security challenges, adding that France once again, declares its support for the unity of Nigeria.
The statement read: “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement made by the Minister of Information and Culture indicating that the “financial headquarters” of IPOB was in France.
“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this point.
“We stand ready to examine any information which could support this statement.
“Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the unity of the country.”
Recall that Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at a news conference in Abuja, claimed that the financial headquarters of IPOB is in France.
According to the minister, available records showed that IPOB was getting money both from the Diaspora and at home.
He said: “We have the records, we know IPOB collects money from many people from diaspora, they collect money from many people in Nigeria, they collect money from some foreign countries, this is clear.
“Let me tell you, the financial headquarters is in France, we know, but you see, can you as a government stop sending money to your parents? You have to block the sources of finance that is what I said recently.
“It is incontrovertible that some people in diaspora contribute money to IPOB, where does it get its money from. We know this as a fact. Again, there are a few very naughty diplomatic issues which you need to skip.”