The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was created by Nnamdi Kanu a few years ago as a breakaway group of the “compromised” Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
The radical group was founded with the purpose of handing over the Republic of Biafra to the South Easterners through secession.
Mainly of people from the Igbo ethnic group, IPOB is strongly rooting for an independent nation of Biafra which its members believe can be achieved by breaking away from Nigeria.
What is The Meaning of IPOB?
As earlier mentioned, IPOB means the Indigenous People of Biafra. They are the original owners of communities and inhabitants of Biafraland. Members of the group are mostly found in the South East of Nigeria, some parts of the South-South region and some parts of the Middle Belt.
The struggle for the restoration of the sovereignty of the Republic of Biafra along the pre-colonial lines, consisting mainly of the South-East and South-South regions of Nigeria is what IPOB prides the most and seeks to achieve through peaceful demonstrations.
IPOB as an organization has maintained that the indigenous people of Biafra do not share any features or values with the other parts of Nigeria, making it impossible for the union to be productive.
As far as their struggle for sovereignty goes, IPOB has made every possible effort to remain peaceful in the efforts made towards the restoration of Biafra. This is notwithstanding the harsh treatment meted out to the members by the Nigerian government and security officials.
Just like what is obtainable with most colonial outposts in Africa, the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not taken it lightly with IPOB as the organization was labeled a terrorist organization.
According to the Nigerian government, it is against the law to segregate from the Nigerian union which was formed by their colonial masters.
Several other organizations apart from IPOB have been formed in the struggle for freedom, self-determination of the people of Biafra and the restoration of the land of Biafra as it was before the coming of the European colonialists who without the consent of the people, merged the colonies to form the country Nigeria.
A few of other associations with similar views as IPOB include the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), the Lower Niger Congress (LNC).
Who is The Leader?
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is Nnamdi Kanu. The United Kingdom-based political activist was illegally confined in prison by the Nigerian government on October 14, 2015, despite court orders for his release but was later released from prison on 28 April 2017 on bail.
Respected IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu was born to HRM Eze Israel Okwu Kanu (JP) and Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu on September 1967, in Isiama Afara, Abia State, Nigeria.
He had his elementary education at Library Avenue Primary School and his secondary school education at Government College Umuahia. He studied briefly at the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) but dropped out after two years. He would later relocate to London, where he enrolled at London Guildhall University now called London Metropolitan University (LMU) to study Political Economics.
Kanu vanished from the spotlight after his home in Abia State was raided by the Nigerian military in September 2017.
Here’s Everything To Know
1. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is an association formed by some indigenous Ethnic groups that constituted what we knew as Biafra before the coming of the European colonialists.
2. The group has been active since 2012 to date.
3. Biafra was founded on May 30, 1967.
4. At least, over 150 members of IPOB have died after they were allegedly attacked by the Nigerian army. According to Amnesty International, the killings were all evident in the viral video of the massacre at Nkpor in Anambra State from 29 to 30th of May 2016 and on the 8th of February 2017. The first massacre took place while IPOB members were celebrating the Biafra remembrance day while the second killing took place at Ngwa high school during a prayer service.
5. IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu is known for his signature Jewish outfits (Jewish prayer shawl and a skull cap) during his trial days. Kanu claims to be a Jew although Igbos are predominantly Christians.
6. Until his emergence as IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu was not known.
Currently run by estranged IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu who sees himself as a political prisoner, Radio Biafra which is also known as Voice of Biafra is a radio station originally founded by the government of the Republic of Biafra.
The radio station reportedly had its first transmission before the onset of the war that broke out between Nigeria and Biafra. The radio station was used in the broadcast of speeches and information by the late leader of the people of Biafra, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to the citizens of the defunct Republic of Biafra
Based in the United Kingdom, Radio Biafra currently transmits through the internet and shortwave broadcast which targets mainly the eastern parts of Nigeria. The freedom of the people of Biafra is the main focus of the broadcasts.
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The deputy director of Radio Biafra is Engr Mazi Uche Okafor Mefor. He is from Abatete in Omambala Province from the East, in Anambra State.
IPOB – The Journey So Far
The peaceful struggles of the indigenous people of Biafra have been regrettably bedeviled by violence from the Nigerian government. Members of the organization have been killed, maimed and illegally arrested for making their voices heard.
In March 2016, IPOB staged a peaceful march in remembrance of fallen heroes of the Biafran struggle. The march however turned violent as protesters turned on security officials who were sent to monitor them, resulting in the deaths of two policemen and many IPOB members, while several others were arrested in different parts of Nigeria.
All the opposition and lethal force notwithstanding, the indigenous people of Biafra have strongly refused to be intimidated into silence.