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No, Nigerian foreign affairs minister not chased out of Austria meeting, authorities say

“Breaking: Nigerian foreign affairs minister, Dr [Geoffrey] Onyeama chased out of a meeting at the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria by IPOB Austria. Details later,” reads the headline of a post published on the Facebook page of Nigerian news site, the Republican News, on 21 August 2019.The post has been shared over 200 times and generated as many comments.  But the claim is false.

It also includes a link to the home page of the Republican News website, though we could not find the article on the site matching the headline on Facebook, or any articles like it. 

A video, posted on various websites, shows Onyeama in a meeting with some members of an Austrian branch of the Indigenous People of Biafra, the group calling for an independent state of Biafra in present-day south-east Nigeria. The meeting was disrupted by the IPOB members and then Onyema was hurriedly ushered out.

So was Onyeama chased out of a meeting, like it appears in the video? Authorities quickly debunked the story.  

Foreign affairs ministry debunks claim

Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry released a statement on 23 August debunking the claim.

Ferdinand Nwoye, a spokesperson for the ministry, said the meeting in the video happened three years ago, and that Onyema was “ushered out”, not chased. 

The statement reads: “The facts are that at the end of a very pleasant and informative interactive session, a group of no more than five individuals complained vociferously that they had not been given the opportunity to speak. 

“One of the young men took exemption to the Honourable Minister’s peaceful disposition and was getting more agitated and vocal, at which point the Minister was ushered out of the meeting room as the meeting had already ended.”

IPOB did disrupt a meeting with the Nigerian foreign affairs minister in Vienna, Austria in 2016, not 2019. Motunrayo Joel

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