IPOB not a terrorist group – UK denies including separatist group in blacklist

The British High Commission in Abuja on Friday described as false media reports that the United Kingdom (UK) has proscribed and blacklisted the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).

“We are aware of inaccurate reporting circulating in the media and online that the UK Government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law,” Tribune quoted the commission to have said in a statement to it. “These reports are untrue. The “Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK.”

The commission explained that the inaccurate reporting relates to the April 13, 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in South-East Nigeria, including IPOB.

“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups.  These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non-government organisations. 

“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection.

“The document is publicly available on our UK Government website, Gov.UK at www.gov.uk/government/publications/nigeria-country-policy-and-information-notes,” the statement added.