I didn’t refer to IPOB, Yoruba Nation agitators as criminals — Gbajabiamila

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House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has denied comparing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba Nation agitators to Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).

The Nation reports the Speaker had said miscreants in the South masquerading as separatist and activists emerged to wreak havoc.

He had said: “We must now add to these concerns an emerging threat that presents the same clear and present danger.

“In the South of Nigeria, East and West, miscreants and criminals masquerading as separatist activists have emerged to wreak havoc, take lives and commit economic sabotage against fellow Nigerians and against the state.

“These people, in their inclination for devastating violence against fellow citizens, their appetite for the destruction of private property, their disruption of academic activities, commerce, and industry, their propensity for defiling institutions of the state, society and community, their refusal to engage in debate, or to consider the possibility of dissenting opinions and alternative viewpoints, are no different from Boko Haram and ISWAP.”

His statement sparked outrage from different quarters.

But Gbajabiamila, in a terse statement, on Facebook said he was quoted out of context.

According to him: “My attention has been drawn to the misinterpretation of my speech on the floor of the House today. I never referred to IPOB or Yoruba Nation group members.

“My message was directed at the criminal elements who seem to have taken advantage of their legitimate agitations as a decoy to extort, kill and commit acts of terror.”

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