Ever since President Muhammadu Buhari took the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2015, Nigerians have seen a sharp rise in secessionist movements in the southern part of the country, with different groups calling for the Balkanisation of the country.
The most conspicuous of these secessionist agitations is the Biafran separatist movement in the south-eastern part of the country. This separatist movement began in 1999 with the emergence of the group, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) which was formed by an Indian-trained lawyer, Ralph Uwazuruike.
From that period up till 2012, south easterners in support of the agitation have witnessed a fractionalisation in the movement as other factions were formed after the impoundment of MASSOB’s leader. Then emanated the Biafran Zionist Movement (BZM) in 2012, under the administration of Benjamin Onwuka and The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in 2013, under the control of Nnamdi Kanu, which became highly revered by some Igbos in the southeast, but was later proscribed by the Buhari Administration in 2016.
In the course of canvassing for Biafra, the IPOB have strived to gain and sustain the support of every Igbo in the Southeast, but it has also thrived on propaganda just to get the Igbos in the southeast to detest the already abhorred Nigeria and presumed Fulani-led administration.
Not once, not twice, have some Igbos in the southeastern part of the country been greatly dealt in misinformation, and morosely, some Igbos eventually fall for IPOB’s misrepresentation of facts, without a logical reason of the information presented before them. This is indeed a cognitive bias, as the average Igbo man’s addiction has been fed for too long.
Let us have a look at some occasions the IPOB propagated false information.
1) The $15 Billion Bribe
On April 22, 2021, a blog operated by those in support of the Biafran seperatist movement identified as Correctbn.com alleged that the Nigerian Government had attempted to buy over the IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to leave the agitation for Biafra.
As time passed, there was a widely circulated and unverified information about him being offered $15.2 billion right inside the detention room from the Sultan of Sokoto’s Palace which he resisted. But in the real sense, there was no verified information to back up such claims of the colossal amount of money being offered to him.
2) The Hidden Zamfara Airport
In a post by a page identified as “Biafrans Home and Abroad” on April 18, 2021, it purported that there was a hidden airport in the middle of the forest in Zamfara state where Northern Fulani Politicians were transporting Gold to Britain, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The post which got 3000 shares from those who believed the information to be true was declared to be false by independent fact-checkers. The claims made by the page was false as Zamfara State had no such terrain.
According to African Fact Check, it was a plane used for drug smuggling in Guatemala, South America.
3) UN’s Creation of the Independent States of Biafra and Southern Cameroon
In a post by a page identified as “Biafrans Home and Abroad” on July 12, 2020, it purported that the United Nations had made a U-Turn on the creation of the Southern Cameroon state on July 10, 2020, and had sent information to world leaders that Biafra would have their independence on October 12, 2020, and southern cameroon on May 2021.
This information was later proven to be false by independent fact-checkers. Africa Check quoted Farhan Haq, a deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary General who said “It is up to states to recognise or not recognise other governments. It is not determined by the UN.”
On June 2020, a blog, Biafranupdate.com alleged that the United Nations had made a move to grant Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s request to create a United States of Biafra, that would consist of the South-East, most parts of the South-South and some parts of the South-West, and that 24 Local Governments in the North-Eastern part of the country would be ceded to the new UNO country.
In a news report by Ndigbolink.com on November 16, 2019, The UN told the Nigerian Government that it doesn’t need the government’s permission to declare Biafra. This was a totally false information.
4) The Declaration of Biafra’s Independence on October 12, 2020
Before this day, October 12, 2020, Biafran Social Media Outlets and Supporters were all happy that Biafra would surely be actualized. False information was spread in the name of the UN, in the name of the U.S., in the name of Turkey, Russia and the UK.
In a report by Jamyco.com, a Biafran blog on June 2020, the detained leader of the IPOB told his supporters that Biafra would be free on October 12, 2020. From that point in time, there was heightened misinformation.
In a news report by Ndigbolink.com on August 26, 2020, President Vladimir Putin assured Nnamdi Kanu that Russia will help Biafra get her Independence soon after Nnamdi Kanu had approached him to help in the actualisation of Biafra.
Reporterspressng.com, a Facebook page in support of the agitation on September 4, 2020, said the UK metro news had reported that the British Government had declared its support for Biafra’s independence on October 12.
Jamyco.com on September 23, 2020 published that Buhari had told the UN not to declare Biafra’s Independence on October 12, 2020.
Jamyco.com still reported on October 2020 that Nnamdi Kanu would be coming with Israeli soldiers to the country.
In a report presented by Freedom News, another Biafran blog on October 7, 2020, the president of Turkey pleaded with the UN to support Biafran Independence on October 12.
Unfortunately, most Igbos supporting the struggle during this period believed all this false information.
5) An Israeli Prophet concerned about Biafra
In a news report by Jamyco.com on July 7, 2020, An Israeli Prophet, Emperor Yeshua urged Igbos wherever they were, to fast and pray on July 27, 2020 for Biafra’s Independence on October 12, 2020.
6) Simon Ekpa’s Proclamation of Biafra’s Restoration
On August 7, 2021, the self-acknowledged disciple of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Simon Ekpa said August 9th, 2021 would be a historic day as it would be the day that Biafra would be restored.
7) The Trump-Biafra Relations
What's Your Reaction?
A Media Practitioner in the Making after Name and Ethical Values, with a Social Responsibility.