"Dr Oby Ezekwesili needs to rise above pettiness and resist the temptation to play to the gallery, when the country’s national security is under threat".

An aide to the president, Garba Shehu, gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

According to him, a prominent influencer like Ezekwesili has a moral and patriotic duty not to give ammunition to any violent group that seems determined to pursue its separatist agitation.

He added that, “Seeking to make political capital out of a chaotic situation “is highly unbecoming of her and of the reputation she has worked hard to build over the years.’’

The presidential aide advised Ezekwesili to demonstrate a great sense of responsibility in the face of national security challenges posed by the IPOB's inflammable propaganda allegedly designed to cause civil unrest.

He explained that, “while it is convenient for the civil society activist to condemn the military and the government of President Buhari, Mrs Ezekwesili didn’t find it appropriate, even once, to criticise the dangerous and violent propaganda being propagated by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

“Oby, as they call her, tweets on everything. Why was she silent on this one?"

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Shehu also wondered why Ezekwesili “retreated to the background or lost her voice while IPOB supporters were violently molesting, harassing, attacking and jeopardizing the lives of indigenes and non-indigenes."

Shehu asked her to explain to Nigerians where the constitution of Nigeria, and international human rights law support the killing and molestation of innocent people in the name of advocacy for self-determination.

He said that Ezekwesili’s “hypocritical and timid silence while Kanu’s IPOB supporters were engaged in lawlessness and recklessness in violation of his bail conditions is a burden on her credibility as a national crusader who should be courageous to condemn criminality.

“This art of using a raincoat while taking a bath is nothing short of self-deceit.”

He described the attack on soldiers and policemen by IPOB supporters as “... irresponsible, indefensible and reckless”, adding that nobody in her position “should elevate mobs to the status of rock stars for the sake of playing to the gallery”.

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