Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Indigenous People of Biafra has cleared the air over its purported proscription by the United Kingdom.
IPOB in a statement by its lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said the fake media report of the purported proscription was planted and sponsored by the enemies of the struggle for Biafra restoration.
It said UK never designated the pro-Biafra movement as a terrorist organisation.
IPOB which said it would continue to maintain its non-violent posture, urged members of the public to disregard the said fake news.
Below is a full text of the press statement obtained by Ikengaonline:
“CLARIFICATION ON THE WRONG NARRATIVE MAKING THE ROUNDS OVER THE PURPORTED DESIGNATION OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA (IPOB) AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION BY THE UNITED KINGDOM:
“In view of the obvious sponsored false narrative ostensibly orchestrated by mischief makers, the facts need to be set right.
“Following the UK Government’s update vide the UKVI, which is clear and unambiguous in every respect, the direction contained in the referenced update is that the Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) affiliated applicants seeking for ASYLUM status in the UK, should not be considered on the merit of such claims without thorough review of their level of involvement in uncivil activities.
“Obviously making reference to the proscription of IPOB in Nigeria, and relying on such sub-judicial subject, to insist that the granting of Asylum status on the basis of IPOB-related persecution claims, can no longer be as a matter of course.
“It is pertinent to point out that the leadership of the IPOB have severally distanced the peaceful movement, from the increasing violent activities of some blood sucking monsters going on in the South-East under the name of UNKNOWN GUN MEN, and in most cases, offered to join in the fight against these monsters.
“The leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra has never supported the nefarious activities of these enemies of our people, neither have they, in any of their publications approved such inhuman and barbaric activities of the UNKNOWN GUNMEN.
“Moreover, the UK Government needs to be aware that the proscription status of the IPOB is a subject matter before the Court of Appeal, currently pending before the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division in Appeal Number: CA/A/214/2018 between IPOB VS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION, now coming up on the 12th day of October 2022, for definite hearing.
“Therefore, all foreign governments are persuaded not to rely on largely fabricated publications on the pages of Nigerian Newspapers in arriving at such far-reaching decision, which is capable of endangering millions of innocent lives who are being persecuted in Nigeria for being members of the IPOB.
“In the coming days, the IPOB legal team will make formal representation to the UK Government on this subject via the British High Commission in Nigeria, accompanied with verifiable facts and evidence, to persuade the UK Government to review their recent position.
“For clarity, the Government of the United Kingdom has not designated the IPOB as a terrorist organization, rather, reference was made to the proscription of the Organization in Nigeria, and also the heinous crimes being perpetrated by some dissidents in the South-East, which said crimes are totally condemnable and have nothing whatsoever to do with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which is a peaceful, non-violent self determination group.
“The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) remains a lawful and peaceful movement.
“Thank you all and remain hugely blessed.
Sir Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Esq.
IPOB’s Lead Counsel
6th May, 2022″