Back to Africa Check

No, UK hasn’t declared Ipob, movement seeking Biafra’s independence from Nigeria, a ‘terrorist group’

A message posted on Facebook in early May 2022 claims that the United Kingdom has declared the separatists of Nigeria’s Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) to be terrorists.

“UK finally declares IPOB as terrorist group, bars members from asylum,” it reads.

The message, based on media reports, claims the UK government “has finally accepted Nigeria’s classification of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organisation”.

Ipob seeks to restore the Republic of Biafra, established with the secession of Nigeria’s eastern region in 1967. After a brutal 30-month civil war that ended in January 1970, the region was reabsorbed into Nigeria. 

In September 2017, the Nigerian government banned Ipob and labelled it a terrorist organisation. 

But has the UK now done the same?


British High Commission debunks claim  

On 6 May the British High Commission in Nigeria posted a statement on Twitter dismissing the reports as untrue. 



“We are aware of inaccurate reporting circulating in the media and online that the UK Government has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law,” the statement reads.

“These reports are untrue. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK."

It adds: “The inaccurate reporting relates to the 13 April 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information Note (CPIN) on separatist groups in SE Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 

“CPINs provide country of origin information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claims.”

The statement says asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their facts, with relevant background country information and case law taken into account.

It also says the CPIN acknowledges that “the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection”.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.