After the news circulated on the net, the British government made a U-turn to recognize the indigenous peoples of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organization. Just recently, the UK government came out to debunk this news, stating that the reports that have been circulating the net, stating that it has named IPOB a terrorist group, are inaccurate and untrue.
When the fake news circulated on the internet, there was a statement signed by the Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, who said that this news is a welcome move for Nigeria as the UK government has finally outlawed IPOB as a terrorist group.
In his words; “Nigeria welcomes the UK’s decision to label the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) a terrorist group.”
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Having heard such false information circulating on the net, the British High Commissioner in Abuja clarified that such information was not the case. He did, however, release a public statement to clarify the whole matter.
The statement reads: “We are aware of inaccurate reports circulating in the media and online that the UK government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK list of terrorist groups or organizations prohibited by UK law, these reports are false. The ‘Indigenous People of Biafra’ (IPOB) is not a banned organization in the UK.
“The inaccurate report relates to the UK Government’s release on 13 April 2022 of a Revised National Policy and Information Note (CPIN) on separatist groups in South East Nigeria, including Indigenous Peoples of Biafra ( CPINs provide Country of Origin Information (COI) and COI analysis for use by UK government decision makers dealing with particular types of protection and human rights claims.
“All asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on the basis of our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account background information and relevant case law on the country.
“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of the risks faced by individuals belonging to these groups. These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available national information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources, including the media; UK and other governments; local, national and international organizations; and non-governmental organizations.
“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has outlawed the IPOB as a terrorist organization, some members of the IPOB have allegedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that individuals who have committed human rights violations shall not be afforded protection”.
It is disappointing that the Nigerian government persists in peddling fake news about the indigenous peoples of Biafra, with IPOB accusing them of being a terrorist organization. This is the same government that once lamented that the big challenge facing the country is the issue of fake news and misinformation, only for them to be found guilty of committing the same act.
It is obvious that whenever a report matches the government’s agenda, no matter how false, it welcomes it with ecstasy. This IPOB sponsored news was orchestrated by troublemakers. It is indeed commendable that the UK has issued a statement to clarify the spread of these false reports.
There have been statements from some Nigerians, especially those residing in the South East region of Nigeria, that the violence, murder, arson and the like being perpetrated in the South East are not perpetrated by IPOB members, but by unscrupulous beings. hired by the government to sow chaos in the region, to do everything possible to label the IPOB and its members as a terrorist organization.
Looking critically at all the chaos in the Southeast, it makes no sense why IPOB members would want to kill their people, which makes it very hard to believe. All they seem to demand from the government is that they get their freedom.
Meanwhile, the government has refused to declare the Fulani Shepherds’ Militia a terrorist group, despite being responsible for hundreds of deaths and the destruction of property in the country. It was a group called the fourth deadliest group in the world according to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index.
According to the government, they revealed that they refused to name the Fulani herders as a terrorist organization because their activities were criminal and not related to terrorism. Interesting!
Even though the government seems to have a strong hatred towards members of IPOB and its leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, this does not mean that they should continue to peddle false information about the group. It’s a shame they had to circulate the fake news to fit their narrative.