The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has lambasted the Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi for comparing the group with bandits.
IPOB stated that Gumi was supposed to have been jailed for advocating for bandits if Nigeria were a sane country.
The group noted that it has not kidnapped innocent people, taken ransom or killed defenceless citizens.
The Nnamdi Kanu-led group stated this in a statement by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, which was made available to SaharaReporters on Sunday.
Controversial Islamic scholar, Gumi had said on Friday that designating bandits as terrorists by the Nigerian government cannot change anything.
Gumi had said, "If you can remember IPOB was also declared a terrorist organization, the declaration was even backed by the order of the Court but as you can see even the international community did not recognize the Federal Government’s declaration of IPOB. So it has failed to be effective or to achieve the desired results.”
In reaction, IPOB described the statement by Gumi as both sacrilegious and insane.
"This is not only sacrilegious but insanity taken too far.
"In case Gumi has forgotten, Fulani bandits and herdsmen are already designated the fourth deadliest terror organisation in the world. But IPOB as a peaceful Movement maintains its presence in over 100 countries of the world without any molestations.
"It's only in Nigeria that Gumi and his likes will liken IPOB to a terror group that it is not. What blackmail!
"Gumi should hide his face in shame for his open support for mass murderers while on the other hand claiming to be an Islamic cleric.
"Were Nigeria to be a sane society, Gumi and his types should have been serving their jail terms for their unhidden sympathy for terrorists.
"But we assure him that definitely one day he and his likes will have to tell the world all they know about bandits and terrorists and how much that passed through them to the mass murderers as ransom.
"Can the mischievous Gumi be honest to tell the world if IPOB has kidnapped anybody at any time and demanded ransom for him to liken us with bandits? Can he swear by Allah that IPOB has carried out any terror attack against anybody at any time?
"IPOB remains a peaceful movement with the mandate of restoring the Sovereign State of Biafra. We believe in peaceful restoration of Biafra and our philosophy has not changed.
"Sheikh Gumi should tread with caution. The world is watching him for hobnobbing with bandits and terrorists.
"He should stop deceiving himself, the world already knows who he is working for, and whose interest he defends. Sheikh Gumi, tell us your friend, and we will tell you who you are! An advocate of bandits can't claim to be a true Islamic cleric," the statement partly read.