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Nigeria slams US NGO over terror sponsorship allegation

 
Lagos, Nov 15 (IANS) The Nigerian government has slammed a US-based NGO for calling it a sponsor of terrorism, saying that it was a "disgusting distraction" orchestrated by those seeking to weaken the ongoing massive onslaught against militancy in the west African country.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said the so-called Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE) is a pesky irritant that should be ignored, especially because it is as confusing as it is irresponsible, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to media reports, the GATE petitioned on Friday the office of the US Secretary of State, demanding that the American government should designate some Nigerian government officials as sponsors of terrorism, alleging that "from all available indices, what is happening in Nigeria is state-sponsored terrorism".

"This organisation called GATE is not even worth the ink with which its name is written. How can a serious organisation accuse a government that is tackling the twin evils of terrorism and banditry with an uncommon determination of sponsoring terrorism," Mohammed said.

The Minister said this organisation has chosen this time when terrorists are surrendering in droves or running helter-skelter as a result of a renewed offensive against them by the military to "orchestrate a distraction...to weaken the fight against terror and banditry".

Mohammed said the fact that GATE, in making its absurd allegation, relied on the words of a thoroughly discredited, fake-news-peddling former Nigerian navy intelligence officer shows the hollowness of its allegation.

"In the fight against terrorism, Nigeria has availed itself creditably by tackling home-grown terrorists with links to global terrorist organisations," the Minister added.

--IANS
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