The United Kingdom has said unequivocally that it did not classify the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as terrorist organisation
The explanation comes after it was revealed that the United Kingdom attempted to ban IPOB members who had committed human rights violations from its refugee program.
According to a statement issued by presidential spokeswoman Garba Shehu, “Nigeria welcomes the United Kingdom’s decision to designate the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.”
However, the British High Commission in Abuja stated on Friday that this was not the case.
“We are aware of incorrect allegations circulating in the media and online that the UK Government has put the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist organizations or organisations outlawed under UK law,” the statement read.
“These reports are false.” The ‘Indigenous People of Biafra’ (IPOB) is not a banned organization in the United Kingdom.
“The incorrect reporting refers to the UK Government’s 13 April 2022 publishing of an updated Country Policy and Information Note (CPIN) on separatist organisations in SE Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB). CPINs offer country of origin information (COI) and COI analysis for use by UK Government decision-makers dealing with certain types of protection and human rights claims
“All asylum and human rights claims filed in the United Kingdom are evaluated on an individual basis in line with our commitments under the UN Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, taking into consideration relevant background country information and case law.”
“The CPIN on separatist organizations in the South East, particularly the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), presents a broad evaluation of risks posed by persons belonging to such groups. These assessments are based on an examination of publicly accessible country data acquired from a variety of trustworthy sources, including media outlets, UK and other governments, local, national, and international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
“This CPIN also recognizes that the Nigerian government has designated IPOB as a terrorist organization, that certain IPOB members have allegedly utilized violence against the state and members of the public, and that those who have committed human rights violations should not be afforded protection.”
‘Confiscate IPOB assets’
In his Friday statement, Mr Shehu urged the UK to seize IPOB assets, cut off communication links, and prohibit the issuing of visas to IPOB donors in Nigeria.
“Such sanctions have been crucial in combating other terrorist organisations.” And make no mistake: Africa is becoming a breeding ground for terror, with local and foreign organisations equally gaining power across the continent, flourishing on the economic devastation caused by the pandemic,” Mr Shehu added.
“Nigeria’s intelligence and security agencies are the first lines of defense against such organizations as ISIS and Al Quaeda-affiliated Boko We rely on our partners in the West for their help.
“During the reign of terror of the IPOB — and its 50,000-strong paramilitary organization – communities have been massacred, school buses have been set ablaze, and politicians’ homes have been attacked.” They threaten additional violence if their demands are not satisfied through their international network of radio and television stations, while stirring violence and religious and ethnic tensions between Nigeria’s Christian and Muslim communities.
“Their mouthpieces and wallets are their most powerful instruments — it is these assets that Nigeria’s supporters must focus on next.” And now is not the time to be complacent