by Alexander O. Injury’s
France and the United Kingdom have been accused of having links with IPOB, according to news reports.
Various media quote the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as stating that “the financial headquarters” of the separatist group “is in France”.
The Minister says this is a “fact”, while faulting the UK for not doing something to stop Biafra radio from airing over there. The radio station had been Nnamdi Kanu’s medium of communicating his ideas from London, on the push for Biafra, before he came back to Nigeria in 2015. The Biafra radio programmes were aired in Nigeria also, and was found engaging by some audience who have now taken up Kanu’s cause with IPOB.
As the Minister pointed out, the Biafra Radio was probably not taken down by the UK authorities being that the radio is a free channel of communication available to any law-abiding person. Very much like the internet and social media, anyone who has the license to operate a radio can always air whatever they want to.
The Nigerian Government has made moves to project the view that IPOB is a terrorist organisation trading in hate speech. Hence, it would be easy to see where the Minister is going with his accusation of the UK; that Kanu’s radio should have been proscribed for not being free speech but hate speech against the Government. However, it could be noted that Kanu’s rhetoric only became increasingly caustic when he returned to the country and especially since April after being released on bail from the Kuje prisons.
It may be more worthwhile for the Minister to complain about the part played by the Buhari administration in increasing Kanu’s popularity in the country, beginning from his arrest and extended detention after court orders had been issued for his release. That is similar to the current situation with the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, El-Zakzaky. Which foreign Government will be blamed next? Iran or Qatar?