Britain and France denied any link with the outlawed Indigenous People of
Biafra (IPOB) yesterday.
They were reacting to the federal government’s claim that Biafra Radio was
broadcasting from Britain, which rejected requests to stop it.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said also that the bulk of the
diaspora money being sent to the group and its leader Nnamdi Kanu was
passing through France.
The British High Commission, in a statement by its Press and Public
Affairs Officer, Mr. Joe Abuku, said: “The UK is not aware of any
representation from the Nigerian government about Radio Biafra.”
“Were we to receive any such request, we would, of course, consider it
carefully on the basis of the available evidence, recognizing that freedom
of speech and expression carries responsibilities.”
A diplomatic source who corroborated the high commission’s statement said:
“There is no way the UK government will harbor any terrorist organization.
The UK is not immune from terrorism and it is in our interest to join
hands with the Nigerian government to fight the scourge.”
“We can only crack down on any group if proven intelligence is made
available. And even in doing that, we will act only within the ambit of
the law and fundamental human rights.”
“If you will recall, the British Prime Minister in June called for a
global action against the use of internet space by terrorists.”
”She demanded international agreements to ‘regulate cyberspace’ against
The source quoted the British Prime Minister as saying: “We need to do
everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online. We need
to deprive the extremists of safe spaces online.”
The French Embassy said its government was not harboring IPOB terrorists.
It said the French government was surprised by the allegation from the
A statement by the Embassy’s Political Counsellor, Claude Abily, said
there was no knowledge of IPOB presence in France.
The statement said: “The Embassy of France was surprised by the statement
made yesterday by the Minister of Information and Culture indicating that
the ‘financial headquarters’ of IPOB were in France.
“We don’t have any knowledge of a particular presence of IPOB in France
and the Nigerian authorities never got in touch with the Embassy on this
“We stand ready to examine any information which could support this
“Furthermore, we would like to reiterate that France actively cooperates
with Nigeria in the field of security and that we strongly support the
unity of the country.”