The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday debunked a social media report that he gave Israel ultimatum over the re-appearance of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in that country.
The fugitive IPOB leader, who was sighted in Israel last week, had pledged to return to Nigeria soon, after his unceremonious disappearance from the country for about 13 months.
The minister, who fielded questions from State House correspondents, said: “I was in London when I heard the story about Nnamdi Kanu surfacing in Israel. I was not in a position to make any statement.
“But before I knew it, within a few hours, I saw my picture with a story saying that I had actually given Israel ultimatum to return Nnamdi Kanu otherwise, we will send them missiles.
“I just laughed. It speaks to what we are talking about fake news because it is probably the biggest threat in the run-up to the elections.
“Having said that I have nothing more to add, to the issue of Nnamdi Kanu.’’
According to him, the appropriate authorities in the country will speak on the issue at the appropriate time.
“At the appropriate time, the various authorities will make a statement about the issue of Kanu,’’ he said.
The Presidency on Tuesday dismissed Kanu’s outburst and assured all Nigerians that there was no reason to worry him.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is strong enough to defend its territory against any threat.
“Instead, we see the re-enactment of his bizarre, episodic threat as a mere distraction which will not be allowed to detract from the existing cordial relationships between Nigeria and other countries.’’
According to him, the Buhari administration is in constant touch with other friendly nations and has the best assurances that they would continue to reciprocate the respect Nigeria has for the sovereignty of their nations.